Living with your Aging Parents: Tips and Tricks for Making It Work

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When deciding to move your elderly parent into your home, there are many factors to consider: whether or not you can provide adequate care, the cost of their care and other living expenses, and how difficult the transition can be for both of you. However, when seniors can no longer live alone and with the cost of nursing care so high, the low end being over $80,000.00 a year, this decision might not be a choice.  At this point, making the situation work to the best benefit of both your family and your parents, can make a world of difference. Although each individual situation will vary, the following list of tips and tricks takes into consideration both the care and emotional wellness of you as well as your aging parent.

  1. Set clear boundaries.

Especially for those with children, or those who might entertain often, having an understanding about your elderly parent’s expectations of day to day routines, as well as your own expectations, can begin with a conversation.  Is your elderly loved one expected to help with child care? To what extent should they partake in the raising of your children? Will they be helping in other capacities around the house? Take the time to create a list of questions you might have regarding both your expectations and theirs in this new living situation. Then, have the conversation taking care to reserve your emotional reactions for later.

 

  1. Show that you understand their needs.

Of course, it’s likely you’ve already shared a living space with your parent and have a sense of their needs. However, in your home environment, these needs might change. Take time to learn and show you understand this. For example, are they able to take care of themselves to the extent that they won’t need help with daily care routines like bathing and using the restroom? Once you understand how they’ll need your help, you can better adjust your lifestyle to meet those needs. Another factor to consider is their community external to the home environment. Research shows that seniors benefit greatly from having community and social capital. Use your existing knowledge of your parent’s hobbies and friends to help them start building a routine outside of the house. This can help combat the loneliness and depression seniors often struggle with.

 

  1. Take it slow.

Don’t expect the transition to happen all at once. Your parent might have difficulty adapting to an environment where they no longer have control of their daily routine. Losing your autonomy is difficult for anyone, let alone a senior whose children are now taking care of them. This is a huge change and you will both be in uncharted territory. Make sure your family is prepared and then take it slowly.

 

  1. Give them autonomy.

Give your elderly loved one as much control over their activities as possible. Ask them what they want, whether that’s in regard to dietary concerns, sleep habits, even sharing the television. Of course, some choices might be limited by physical ability or wellness, but even being consulted on small choices can keep parents from feeling too resentful. Research shows that seniors in institutions feel their autonomy is regularly compromised and this greatly affects their wellbeing. You have the opportunity to combat this by opening your home and showing empathy to your aging parent.

Caring for your senior loved one is difficult but one way of making these new changes better can be having extra cash on hand to both facilitate their support and help them enjoy their retirement. Not to mention, an aging parent might have medical bills or other expenses you might not be able to cover.

If your senior loved one still maintains a life insurance policy they no longer need, did you know they can sell all or a portion of that policy for more than the cash surrender value? This is called a life settlement, or viatical. Contact Life Settlement Advisors today to learn more about the life settlement process or see if you pre-qualify.

Case Study:

Edward lost his wife to cancer last year.  He has been struggling with living along. His youngest daughter insisted he move in with her; however, Edward did not want to impose on her, as she was newly married.

Edward discovered he could sell his life insurance policy for $235,000 and along with the sale of his home, he used the funds to move into a retirement community.

 

 

 

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