Change is inevitable; it occurs throughout our lives whether we embrace the changes or not. For most people life is about gaining independence and stability, but as we age we start to suffer the loss of both. At this stage, an adult child may consider the possibility of moving a parent into their own home. However, what may initially seem like a simple solution is actually much more complex. Below is a list of some of the important things to consider even before the packing begins.
- Talk with Your Parent. Ask your parent (and yourself), how they feel about the move? If they aren’t accepting of the move then it’s important to know why. By this point in life your parent has had to let go of a lot, including driving privileges, medical decisions, and/or financial management. Consider that they may associate the loss of their house with the loss of dignity. This a mourning period for them as they are experiencing an ambiguous loss which they may not even be aware. Take the time to see things through the lens of your aging parent.
- Arrange Their Space with Care. Ask your parent how you can make the transition easier for them. If possible, get their help in setting up a space in your home to their liking. This may mean a new coat of paint or moving in their most cherished furnishings. Think about filling their new space with things that will bring them the most joy.
- Home Safety. Before the move, invest in a home safety assessment completed by a qualified professional. Are the necessary safety measures and/or durable medical equipment in place to prevent accidents? The last thing either of you wants is difficulty navigating this new space resulting in injury.
- Needs Assessment and Establishing Services. Come to a decision on the kind of care your parent needs. Will they require home care services to assist with the completion of independent living skills? Will they benefit by attending an adult day health center for socialization? If you are the primary caregiver, consider an adult day health center or home care services to provide you with respite to care for your own needs.
- Emotional Health. You and/or your parent may need to speak with a counselor to discuss all the changes that are occurring and how best to work through them together. If your parent has a cognitive impairment, dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc., think about joining a support group like Alzheimer’s Association for help from others experiencing a similar journey.
- Contact Care by Design. Trained and skilled Master level Social Workers can offer free education, information, community resources, and connections to care options, as well as Private Pay Care Management tailored to your needs. Everyone wants this transition to go as smoothly as possible. Considering your parent’s concerns and getting their input will make them feel valued and loved. Contact Care by Design today, they are here to help.