What kind of care will your parent need? Do they have any chronic illnesses, any mental or physical conditions that they will need assistance with? How often throughout the day or week will they need assistance? If they do have an illness, do your research or talk to their doctor about what this illness will look like down the road. This way you are prepared for what comes next.
How much assistance with your parent are you able to provide? This can be a difficult question to answer. Go through your own daily routine, noting the time of day and how long it takes you, then transfer that over to your parent’s needs. If your parent needed help eating his meals and remembering to take his medication would you be able to come home at lunch to assist him? The important thing is to know your limits and be realistic. It won’t help your parent if you burn yourself out.
Some families are able to get along, but not all. Do you have a good relationship with your parent? If you already clash at family dinners, maybe them moving in is not the best idea.
Consider the fact that you may need to renovate your house to accommodate for their needs. They may not be able to walk up stairs without assistance anymore, so they may need everything on the same floor for easy access. They may need to have a hospital bed or lift installed in the home. A ramp may be needed if they are in a wheelchair.
A good conversation to have with your parent before they move in is if they will be contributing to the financial expenses of the home. This will be different for everyone’s own situation, but it is important that everyone is on the same page before moving in. This also goes for contributing to the household chores if they are able to.
Consider how moving in your parent will affect your spouse and children. Will it change up their routine or will they have to change bedrooms? It is important that they have their opinions heard as well. Do you have any other siblings or family members that can help contribute to your parent’s care even if they do not live in the home? Maybe they are able to take them on outings or bring in some homemade meals so you do not have to cook for them so often.
Whether you move your aging parents into your home or not, it is worth the effort to sit down and figure out the ins and outs of how this relationship and living situation would look. It can be a big undertaking and should not be taken lightly. Everyone involved will be much better off if all these questions are worked out in advance.