Housing Options for SeniorsLiving with FamilyMary Alexander: Hi! I'm Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care, and today I'm discussing the various senior housing options and how to choose the best one for your parents.
Now I am going to talk about having your parents live with family, also know as Family Care. In this particular housing option, the family bears the entire responsibility for taking care of the elderly person, be it in the senior's home or in the home of a family member.
Naturally, wanting to repay your parents for all of the caring they did for you as a child is a normal reaction. Having them in your home can be very rewarding allowing you to relive old times and create new memories.
For most family care-giving is a labor of love, however, the responsibility of being a primary family caregiver can be overwhelming, especially, if there are other duties, such as a job or caring for your own children.
The time requirements and physical demands of caring for older people are taxing. The emotional ones can be even more so. With all that in mind, there are seven questions you should ask yourself before you decide if being a family caregiver is right for you.
Let's go through them. Are you prepared for the pressure on your spouse and children? Have your spouse and children agreed to take mom or dad into your home? Have you established a working arrangement with siblings or other family members? Have you anticipated the wear and tear on your own health? Are you prepared for the emotional stress of long-term care-giving? Have you evaluated the financial cost of providing family care? Will you be able to continue working and provide family care?
Certainly, answering these questions is not easy and may take some time. You'll also have to have a conversation with other siblings, spouses and employers. So make sure to give yourself enough time to be able to do a full evaluation and have well thought out and researched answers to these questions.
To help you with some research on the pros and corns of family care, we have created list of advantages and disadvantages.
Let's talk about the advantages first. Having your parent live with you certainly fulfills the promise of home. It also provides opportunities to develop a close personal relationship with your senior loved one.
Generally, this housing option has a low cost of care with most cost coming primarily out of pocket. Other advantages include a sense of great personal satisfaction and helping another in their time of need, as well as inter-generational bonding among your parents, you and your children.
Like anything else, family care comes with its disadvantages as well. First and foremost is a risk of high personal and family stress. A new person in the home means more melding of schedules and activities which can cause tension. There is also the potential for multi-generational conflicts. How grandma and grandpa used to do things may seem a bit out of touch with your children.
Another disadvantage is the possibility of under-serving the needs of your senior, neglecting your own family or suffering a loss of productivity on your job. At the moment you maybe balancing all three quite well, however, tossing in full-time care of an aging parent could throw a delicate balance out of whack.
Truly, the best time to choose the family care option is if the senior is functional on all activities of daily living and requires limited assistance. Keep in mind that the average cost to have a parent live with family is estimated to be between $5000-8000 annually. This generally covers out of pocket expenses to provide care including transportation, meals, extra utilities and the like.
If you and your parents decide that living with family is for them, it's also important to discuss that there may come a time when they must move on.
Some considerations affecting that decision include personal stress reaches a high level, family relationships are strained, the senior needs more and more specialized care. And if it's decided that your parents would be best suited living in another situation, another option is retirement and independent living communities. We will talk about that in the next video.