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Making the Decision For Your Parents on a Home or Your Home

Updated on March 9, 2012

When The Time Comes

One of the hardest decisions adults have to make is about the care for their aging parents. I know how difficult it can be; I had to make the decision for both of my parents. Once they are no longer able to care for themselves or living at home alone becomes a safety concern, a decision must be made about where they will live.

The two main options are: coming to live with you or going to a retirement home or assisted living facility. The question you ask yourself is, which one is the best answer?

Things to Consider

There are several things that go into a decision of this magnitude. It isn't an easy choice, and often one that may take days or weeks to reach a decision that you feel comfortable with.

Parent's Health

The first thing to consider is the health of your parent. Not just their physical ability, but their emotional and mental health. How much care will they require and are you able to give it? If you are a working person like I was and your parent needs 24 hour care, you will not be able to provide for them.

You may be able to afford a caregiver for when you are at work, but you have to consider your ability to do the things they need. Can you lift and transport them properly? Do you have siblings that can help out some? You can also find agencies that will provide respite care so the caregiver can have a break. You will need to know your resources before you move your parent into your home.

Parent's Feelings

How does your parent feel about the situation? While you may not be able to listen to what they want, you should listen to them and add it into the decision process. Of course, most elderly people want to stay at home and think they can take care of themselves even when they can't. This leaves you the job of being the bad guy and forcing them to do something against their will.

Some parents do not want their children to be responsible for them. Others will enjoy the friendships of people their own age in a retirement home. Then there are the parents who will enjoy living with you and spending quality time together in their final days.

The Rest of Your Life

If you are married with children living at home, you will have to take their feelings into account. Caring for a parent adds stress for everyone in the home and everyone needs to be included in the decision. A family meeting would be appropriate so that everyone has a chance to make their opinions known. It also provides you a chance to let everyone know what to expect if your parent does come to live with you.

Your Decision

Your decision has to be based on what is best for your parent, your family, and you. You cannot pay attention to what others have to say; only you know your situation. What works for one family may not work for another one. It can even change based on the parent. With my own parents, I could not care for my mother, but I was able to keep my father in my home.

Take the time to think through your decision, knowing that it doesn't have to be permanent. At any time, you can change your decision if another choice works better. Not being able to provide care for your parent does not make you a bad son or daughter. You show your love for them by making the right decision even if it's a hard one.


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    • Advice by Tammy profile image

      Advice by Tammy 5 years ago from Cyberland of course

      I cannot imagine how hard this decision is. I am sure everyone's situation is totally different but the feelings are probably the same. We people living much longer lives these days I imagine we will all at some point find ourselves in this situation.

    • jm72writes profile image

      jm72writes 5 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you for the vote. I went through this with both my parents and I never felt like I did enough and I often wondered if I made the right choices. It's helpful to know there are others going through the same thing.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      That is a tough decision, and I am sure having so many people involved will cause additional problems as these people may have differing opinions, yet they are all a necessary part of the network. You've provided useful advice here. Voted up.

    • jm72writes profile image

      jm72writes 5 years ago from Missouri

      I like your comparison to adoption. I do think it is similar in the fact that you have to think about what is best for them.

    • Eliminate Cancer profile image

      Eliminate Cancer 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      I would think of this decision as almost like giving up a baby for adoption. Such a hard choice, and in the end, I know I would keep them with me.