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