More and more people these days are taking their older relatives into their homes. With rising property and care home costs, it makes financial and practical sense that the older generation sell their properties and move in with their children. This means that they might be available to help with childcare while they are still able, and as they get more elderly, they will be around family when they need caring for themselves. Elderly people need certain care, including help exercising with specialist exercise equipment good food and a warm home.
It sounds like the perfect arrangement but it can be difficult to have your parents or in-laws in your home, especially if you have been living on your own for some years so here are some tips for living with older relatives, and taking care of them too.
Give them their own space
If you have a house big enough it will work best if you can carve out a separate space for your relatives, so that you still have some privacy and so that they feel like they have their own space and that they aren't encroaching on yours. The dream is an annexe but if you can't stretch to that a bedroom with it's own ensuite is great. If you have a spare living area room that you can convert for them to use too that works really well to give everyone privacy and their own space, as well as space for any exercise equipment for the elderly.
Be prepared to make alterations to your home
Depending upon the age of your relatives when you move in, you might need to prepare to make alterations to your home so that it is accessible to them. In the future they might need to use stairlifts at home, they might need an adapted bathroom or doors that can accommodate a wheelchair. You will also need to get some exercise equipment for the elderly to keep them active and healthy. You'll also need to consider the cost of these adaptations. It's all something to keep in mind.
Be clear on boundaries / expectations
It is difficult when you blend two families together into one home so it is good to be clear on boundaries and expectations before you get into it. Think about how you are going to split bills, chores, cooking, cleaning etc. Grandparent's won't want to be put upon for childcare at the drop of a hat either so it works both ways. If you are going to be providing care, think about how much time you have got to devote to this and agree what you are able to do, and what you might need carers to help with. You might be able to help
Think about any legal issues
If there is any money changing hands, for example if your parents sell their house and you use some of the money to pay for upgrades to the house you will want to get some legal advice. The same goes if they will be contributing to the mortgage or bills. It is best to know where you stand legally at the start to avoid any problems that may arise down the line.
Enjoy the precious time together
Once all the technicalities are sorted out enjoy the precious moments all together. It really is quite special to have multiple generations in one home, and precious to have grandchildren grow up alongside their grandparents. It is also much easier to look after everyone when they are all under one roof, hopefully happy and healthy together.
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