How to return to live with your parents

How to return to live with your parents



A young woman who has just quarreled with her parents

Tracey Stensaas ‘elderly mother moved in with her nine years ago, after Stensaas’ father died and money became scarce. Fortunately, it was a natural transition.

Stensaas’ daughter was about to start college, meaning as one family member left, another entered.

“I’ve never had an empty nest,” said Stensaas, 49, who lives in Arizona in the United States.

To care for her 87-year-old mother while she works, Stensaas relies on help from home caregivers. She greatly appreciates the fact that her mother is always with her.

Households with members of more than one generation are increasingly becoming a solution for caring for aging parents.

How to return to live with your parents

  • Kate ashford
  • BBC Capital
A young woman who has just quarreled with her parents

Image source, THINKSTOCK

Legend,

Living with parents can be difficult, but it has its advantages.

Tracey Stensaas ‘elderly mother moved in with her nine years ago, after Stensaas’ father died and money became scarce. Fortunately, it was a natural transition.

Stensaas’ daughter was about to start college, meaning as one family member left, another entered.

“I’ve never had an empty nest,” said Stensaas, 49, who lives in Arizona in the United States.

To care for her 87-year-old mother while she works, Stensaas relies on help from home caregivers. She greatly appreciates the fact that her mother is always with her.

Households with members of more than one generation are increasingly becoming a solution for caring for aging parents.

In the United States, 57 million people (about 18%) were part of a multigenerational household in 2012, according to the organization Pew Research. This is twice as high as in 1980.

In Australia, the number is one in five, according to the Australian Research Council. In the UK, more than 500,000 households have members of three generations, a 30% increase over the past 10 years according to the Office for National Statistics.

Image source, THINKSTOCK

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More and more, multi-generation homes are a solution for caring for aging parents.

“Bringing in an older parent can seem like an interesting alternative and in many cases it works well,” says Caroline Abrahams, director of the NGO Age UK.

«But it’s important to be realistic and make sure everyone has the same expectations. Take the time to look at all of the options and consider the practicalities involved.»

Here are a few things to keep in mind.

What is necessary

A little frank discussion, patience, sensitivity and compromise.

“Having an older parent in your home can be a huge commitment on both sides, involving big changes in your routine and possibly in your daily life,” Abraham says.

«It’s important to always keep your loved one’s needs in mind – for example, if you need help getting to medical appointments or at home and how this may affect your work and social life. . «

It’s time to prepare

The more time you spend on it, the better.

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The move requires careful planning.

“Unfortunately, many people have no other choice, whether it’s because of a health problem or the financial crisis of a loved one,” says Amy Goyer, expert on aging and family at the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)., for its acronym in the United States, an organization focused on people aged 55 and over.

«But if it’s something you are anticipating, you can’t stop thinking about it in advance.»

Finances

Everyone should understand what it means to live with an older parent, including the children who still live with you.

“You also have to take their needs into account and see how that will affect the family nucleus,” says Goyer.

In this sense, it is of the utmost importance to openly discuss the issue of money.

“Finances are what can cause the most resentment and tension if family members are all on the same page,” says Goyer.

Some people divide the costs in half, from the mortgage to the grocery store, while others divide the expenses per person. Sometimes one of the parents pays a fixed amount per month.

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When parents move in with their children, it’s because they need your help.

“Whatever you do, ideally keep things as simple as possible so that you don’t spend time financially every month. So it’s a good idea to be honest about what’s going on so that there isn’t no angry siblings. «

Consult your other half

Be aware of your partner’s feelings and avoid taking them for granted.

“Caring for the elderly is very difficult for the caregiver, but also for the partner,” says Andy Cohen, CEO of Caring.com in the United States.

According to Cohen, research in the past has shown that elderly care leads to increased divorce rates. “Make sure your spouse is prepared and takes care of their own health, as well as their own relationship,” he says.

Space and privacy

Your mom probably doesn’t want to be in the small room right next to hers.

“In some Australian homes, apartments for grandparents are built under the family home, with a separate bathroom, kitchen and bedroom,” says Michael O’Neill, CEO of National Seniors, a non-profit organization. lucrative for over 50 years. in Australia.

Image source, THINKSTOCK

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Even the one who controls the television can become a source of problems.

Be aware of family schedules and limitations. A shared bathroom is probably a source of conflict, but surprisingly there are other big annoyances like the TV and the kitchen.

Tell everyone about space and time. Who will prepare the dinner? When are they going to eat? Will your kids wake up their mom if they’re late? Will your dad drive you crazy if you watch the screaming news every night?

“Setting limits is really important,” says Goyer. «One of the hardest things is feeling that privacy has been lost. You may need to be creative in how you use your space.»

Also safety

If you are moving a relative for a long time, you need to make changes to avoid accidents later. Grab bars in the bathroom, a walk-in shower, and a step-free entry are all that may be needed.

“The cost of parts to meet future mobility needs is often a costly surprise,” says Shannon Lee Simmons, financial planner at Simmons Financial Planning in Toronto.

Take a break

One of the reasons a parent is moving in with you: They need your help. Even if it’s minimal, it’s something that suddenly gets added to the list of responsibilities.

One of the pitfalls of caring for people is the tendency to let your own health and mental well-being decline.

“Make sure you have time to exercise and go on vacation,” Cohen says.

“You can be relieved of the care if you have a caregiver who comes on the weekends and allows you and your spouse to get away from it all. Having a senior in the home requires 24/7 care along the way. «

Have a plan for the future

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Hiring temporary help can help ease the burden.

“Be realistic, one day your dad may need more care than you can give him,” says Deborah Piedra of MyAgeingParent.com in the UK. What will you do if your father’s health takes an unexpected turn or he can no longer handle the level of care he needs?

“I don’t think anyone really anticipates how difficult this can be,” Stensaas says.

“Many nights I literally slept on the floor of my mother’s bedroom because if she tried to get up she would fall. The care can get very, very intense.

To be realistic

If you and your dad get along like oil and water, living together is probably not a good idea.

“If the father and adult son never got along, such a move could be a way to force a relationship that has never worked before,” says Stensaas.

“Make sure you look at all of the options,” Goyer says. “If there are other alternatives where your loved ones can be close and receive care, this would be the second option. You can still be very involved.

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