NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Where Should Mom/Dad Live?

Where Should Mom/Dad Live?

                                Options for Seniors living alone have expanded greatly in recent years with assisted living facilities, meals on wheels,  home health care aides and more available. For some families though, and some situations, moving a parent in with them is the first and only option. Before that happens, what should be considered?

                Some families feel an obligation to invite a parent into their home when caregiving needs increase. The families believe this is the “right” or “best” thing to do, regardless of other options. In fact, depending on individual circumstances, there may be other caregiving options available that would provide better quality of care. And some adult children just assume that Mom would prefer to move in with them, but Mom may have very different ideas!

                • Initiate open discussions. Open and honest discussions with your parent and other family members is the essential first step when you are trying to decide whether relocating your parent is the right thing to do. Family meetings with your parent, partner, children, siblings, and other key people will help everyone share their views and will help you decide how best to proceed. In this process, talk about all possible residential options, each person’s role in the transition, the type of care to be provided, changes in lifestyle, finances, and the physical setting of the new home.   

                • Assess the level of care needed. As your parent gets older, his care needs will likely change. If your parent lives with you, be realistic about what you will and will not be able to do. Develop a strategy for getting additional help. Evaluate whether your parent needs constant assistance throughout the day. Determine which activities of daily living (eating, bathing, and toileting) your parent can handle himself and your own comfort level for providing personal care.

                • Anticipate different family dynamics. Whenever a new person joins a household, the routines and relationships change. You and your dad probably love each other dearly, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have some misunderstandings or disagreements.  You and your parent may need to re-negotiate who will be responsible for what kinds of decisions. Not only is your relationship with your parent changing, but your relationship with others in your household, and your grown siblings, will also change.

                • Consider various living arrangements. Moving your parent into your home is one option, but you and your family should take some time to consider other living arrangements as well. The type of housing and living arrangement will largely depend on your parent’s care needs, finances, and available options. All family members, including the parent, need to discuss, understand, and accept the benefits and drawbacks of various living arrangements.

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