As our parents age, there may come a time when they can no longer live independently. For many Americans, that could mean moving your senior parent into your home. Whether you’re doing so for financial reasons, a sense of responsibility, or because you simply want to help, moving a parent into your home is not a decision to be made lightly. 

While moving your parent into your home is more affordable than your loved one moving to an assisted living community, it’s the more mentally and emotionally taxing choice. It can put a lot of stress on your relationship with your parents and the other members of your family. However, in the right circumstances, it can be a positive change for everyone. 

To help you decide whether this move is the right choice for your family, we worked with Jordana Masserman, owner of Preferred Care at Home, to create a list of six essential questions to ask yourself and discuss with your family before choosing to move your parents into your home.

“These questions are important not only for the current situation but also for thinking into the future as time passes and aging progresses,” says Masserman. 

1. Can You Provide the Right Amount of Supervision and Assistance, or Have The Ability to Hire a Caregiver?

The amount of assistance and supervision your loved one needs depends on a few factors, including what state their health is and how physically active they are. It’s important to remember that the amount of assistance they need will most likely increase over time, especially if they develop new illnesses or start experiencing memory loss. 

The kind of assistance your loved one needs may also be something you aren’t comfortable with, or you may lack the necessary skills. Masserman says to ask yourself if you would feel comfortable helping your parent with dressing, bathing, or using the bathroom. If not, investing in an in-home care or home health aide may be the right move to ensure that your loved one gets the care they need.

“Having an aide who can come in and support you in caring for your loved one gives you the chance to recharge and take care of yourself at the same time as making sure your loved one is taken care of,” explains Masserman. 

2. What Is Your Financial Situation, and Will Your Family Member Contribute?

Bringing an additional person into your home will most likely increase your expenses. It’s important to have a conversation early on to establish what you can afford and what you can expect your loved one to contribute. You should also discuss how much of your loved one’s other expenses (beyond housing), like prescription medications, doctor’s appointments, eyeglasses, and transportation, you’ll be covering. This can prevent problems or arguments from occurring later.
Taking on the role of a caregiver may also force you to cut back on hours at work. Or, you may choose to hire an in-home caregiver to assist your family member while you’re at work, but that costs an average of $32.50 per hour in the United States.

Continue Reading: If your parent is eligible for Medicaid and/or is a Veteran, there’s a chance you can get paid for providing in-home care. You may also be able to take advantage of tax benefits for family caregivers.

3. Does Your Loved One Get Along With You and Your Family?

All families have conflicts, but does your family have conflicts that will impact whether everyone can live together? If you enjoy being around each other and can have productive conversations to resolve issues, moving in together won’t be as much of a challenge. It can even give you and your family the chance to form closer relationships with your parents.

If you’ve never gotten along with your parents, moving closer together can cause more complications. Moving a parent into your home can disrupt your family’s life, whether it’s big changes like your children now having to share a bedroom or small things like having to keep the volume low on the TV.  

If these are sacrifices that you and your family are willing to make, the adjustment period will probably go more smoothly. However, it may be wise to seek out other options if the adjustment will be too hard for everyone.

4. Do You Have Enough Space in Your Home?

To ensure your parent is comfortable in their new space, you’ll want to provide a bedroom or some sort of private area for them. If there isn’t a spare room available, think about alternative solutions that may involve moving around furniture or rearranging the living spaces of other family members.

Masserman says to next look at the size of your loved one’s designated space and determine if anything needs to be moved or gotten rid of so your parent can navigate the area safely, especially if they use a walker or wheelchair. Items you may need to consider an alternative for include:

  • Rugs 
  • Furniture 
  • Lamps 
  • Cords/electronic wiring

5. Is The Home Layout Safe for Your Parent, and What Changes Can You Make to Improve Safety?

When seniors downsize or move to a senior living community, they typically move into a one-story home or apartment because of the risks stairs pose for older adults with mobility challenges. Some of the questions Masserman recommends you ask yourself to determine if your home layout is safe include: 

  • Do you live in a one-story home, or is the room or private space you plan to designate for your loved one on the first floor? If having them live on the second-story or basement of your home is unavoidable, consider installing a stairlift
  • How many steps are there to enter the home? It’s a good idea to install a railing on your front steps or anywhere in the home with steps to provide balance support. 
  • If your loved one needs a wheelchair, do your hallways and doors allow for easy passage? If not, you may need to remove furniture or change the style of your doors to a space-saving option like pocket doors to create more space for moving around in a wheelchair. 

Masserman adds, “We have seen situations where renovations had to be made to cut a shower tub so that there is no big step to step into the shower, as well as adding grab bars, raised toilet seats, and a shower bench.”

 6. Is a Social Network Available for Your Family Member?

If you and your spouse work and your kids go to school, your loved one may be spending a lot of time alone. It’s going to take time for them to adjust to their new surroundings, especially if they’re moving a long distance and leaving long-time friends and neighbors behind. Having a social network is important for your family member’s overall well-being.

Masserman recommends looking into the following: 

  • Where is your local senior community center and what do they offer? 
  • Are there any adult day care providers nearby? 
  • What are some activities that are in your home that will help engage and stimulate your loved one on a daily basis?

How To Talk to Your Parents About Moving In With You

When you decide to bring up this topic with your parents, understand that it may be difficult for them. Try to keep a compassionate tone, and take your parent’s needs into consideration. It shouldn’t feel as though you’re trying to pressure them into doing something they don’t want to do. Some tips to follow are:

  • Talk about why you feel that moving is in their best interest
  • Let your parents have a say in all decisions
  • Discuss the pros and cons of moving in together
  • Decide on “house rules”
  • Explore backup plans in case the move doesn’t work out

Moving in together is a big life change that will take time for you, your family, and your parents to adjust to. Open communication throughout the process helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Masserman recommends keeping compassion and empathy at the forefront when disagreements do inevitably occur, “There are so many things changing and putting yourself in their shoes to understand what this type of change must feel like for anyone, let alone someone who is losing their independence, will help give you empathy and patience for the situation.”

Expert Contributors

Jordana has been involved with Preferred Care at Home since 2012 and became the owner of her flagship location in New York in 2016.  She and her husband began their expansion in 2022 with the purchase of the Phoenix/East Valley, AZ location which they followed up in 2023 with Preferred Care at Home of Tucson.  Bringing a fresh perspective and their joined skills and experience, the level of care and services they provide are second to none.  She has worked hard to bring the new acquisitions into the fold without sacrificing the high bar she has set, and is known for in New York. The longevity of her clients and caregivers are a direct result of the dedicated team she has and the personal touch she brings to business.  “It’s a family business and we care for your family as if it were ours.  The expectations are high, as they should be, and we are eager to exceed them.”  

Dan and Jordana want to bring the type of service to their community that people will tell others about.  They work hard to be the name to know in senior homecare.  

“As an entrepreneur there is no greater reward than running a successful business where the community is able to benefit from our services firsthand.  We want to earn people’s trust and be of service to all who need us.”  Whether it is Preferred Care at Home of Phoenix/East Valley, Tucson or Westchester and Putnam, you can be sure that Jordana is behind it all making sure that your loved ones are treated like hers.  She can’t wait to hear from you and introduce you to her team to start your care journey.