Welcoming an Elderly Parent or Grandparent into Your Home? Call us First
Taking an elderly relative into your home will be a big adjustment for everyone involved. Whether you’re looking forward to spending more quality time with him or her, you’re nervous about the change in the family dynamic, or something in-between, it’s important that you think through every aspect of this decision before extending an offer.
Reasons for bringing an elderly relative into your home
Perhaps you’ve decided to do so for financial reasons—retirement homes can be incredibly expensive! There are strong cultural reasons to do this as well—for example, many Hispanic people would never even consider sending their abuelita to live with strangers. Other family reasons strongly pull people towards this direction, too—grandma and grandpa love to spend time with their grandkids, and it’s nice not having to hire a babysitter for date night.
Having the big conversation
When you, your partner, and other family members who will be affected by this change are ready to extend an invitation, make sure you set up a block of time to be able to chat comfortably. Don’t plan it for a short time block or you’ll end up feeling way too rushed. There are many aspects of this proposition that will need to be agreed upon—where the relative will stay, if he or she will be expected to contribute financially to the household, what expectations there will be between family members, what accommodations will need to be made, and so on.
If the relative agrees to move in with you, make sure you’re as prepared as possible for the transition.
Talk with the kids about what this change means and what they can expect. Explain to them the benefits of having grandma or grandpa nearby and get them involved in helping the relative move in. Including them as much as possible will make the kids realize that their special place in the family is still clearly present.
There are lots of practical matters that arise when bringing an elderly relative into your home. If they have mobility issues, perhaps a ramp or stair lift will need to be installed. Maybe one person will need to be in charge of coordinating the elderly person’s doctor appointments, preparing his or her taxes, and doing other everyday tasks for the grandparent.
Another important practical consideration is taking care of any harmful substances in the home. If there’s mold or fungus in the home, for instance, elderly people and those who are immunocompromised can experience detrimental symptoms as a result. If any construction is being done on the home—for example, a mother-in-law apartment is being added—the properly will need to be thoroughly checked for asbestos before renovations can begin. If asbestos fibers are disturbed, they can be released into the air and depending on the kind of asbestos and length of exposure, can cause asbestosis, lung problems, and mesothelioma.
If your elderly relative is moving into your home, don’t put their health at risk. Just call the hazardous material removal experts at (800) 524-3578 for safe, thorough disposal of all toxic substances.