You have been close to your mother your entire life. She helped you in your times of need from infanthood through college, and now she needs help in her time of need as an aging person who can no longer live on her own. You are ready to make the last few years of her life as comfortable as possible.
In setting up this new living arrangement in your home, you and your mother will avoid a long-term care facility and the financial burden that comes with it. Still, there will be challenges and changes, and the two of you along with the rest of your family must come to an agreed-upon understanding.
Provide their own living space
During this transition, family meetings should be held regularly before and after an aging parent comes to live with you. Consider these guidelines when going this route:
- Have the money talk: Be candid about financial resources. Remember, when your parent moves into your home, there will be additional costs. Make sure to organize your mother’s and your personal financial documents. A financial adviser is a good source for guidance.
- Provide their own living space: Maybe there is a spare room in your home or consider converting your basement into an apartment. Your parent needs independence.
- Redesign your home to improve accessibility: Your parent may be reliant on a walker or wheelchair. Building a wheelchair ramp leading to your front door is a good idea. Other investments to consider: a stair-lift or hospital bed. And double-check the durability of all stair handrails.
- Create a caregiver agreement: This is a contract between you and your parent that spells out the costs of the care provided. If you do not have one, tax deductions are more difficult to get, and your parents could see a drop in Social Security benefits.
- Sell or rent your parents’ home: Doing this will help you recover some of the costs attained through the new living arrangement.
Study every scenario possible when considering having your aging parent live with you. You want to make this work, but you cannot do this alone. And if you have siblings, please include them when it comes to making decisions and the caregiving.