As your loved one ages, they are likely to start thinking about their future. They may already be dealing with issues related to mobility, stability, and memory that are concerning. As they age, these issues may worsen, and new issues may arise that make your family question whether it’s safe for your loved one to live alone. While your loved one may not want to give up their independence, it may become clear that they need some help. 

There are a few options when you reach this point. Some immediately jump to assisted living, even if that’s not what your loved one wants. Others offer up space in their home, asking their loved one to move in with them. A third solution is home care services. All three of these options have their pros and cons, especially the second. While many people are quick to share space with a loved one, they soon discover why it’s not always the best option. Let’s examine some of the pros and cons of moving your loved one in with you as well as how Reliant’s home care services can help alleviate some of the stress of being a caregiver.


a woman and her daughter and her grandson


Questions to Ask Before a Loved One Moves In

Before you make the decision to move your loved one in with you, take a moment to think through how this new living arrangement will benefit your loved one. Is your home arranged in a safer layout, or will your loved one have to deal with steps and other issues? Will someone always be home in case your loved one falls, or are they going to be alone during the day? Can you and anyone else in the home adequately provide the level of care your loved one is going to need? 

Also keep in mind that while you may be able to answer these questions positively now, no one knows what the future holds. Your loved one’s health may continue to deteriorate to the point that caring for them in your home simply isn’t an option. It’s important to recognize that your housing plan may be perfect for now, but it may not work in five or ten years. 


The Issue of Too Much Stuff

The first concern many people discover after asking an elderly loved one to move in with them is that they have a lot of stuff. In fact, most families realize that combining two households means having duplicates of almost everything. Your loved one likely had their own pots, pans, microwave, television, coffee table, sofa, and much more. Typically, you don’t need all of this. Even if you have a finished walk-out basement or a small additional dwelling on your property that offers your loved one more than just a bedroom and bathroom, you’re still likely to have many items that aren’t needed.

What’s the solution? It can be hard for your loved one to give up some of their things, especially if they feel like giving up these things equals giving up their freedom. One solution is to keep the items that are newer or in better condition. This can mean giving up some of your own things if they’re older. Another option is for your loved one to loan out their possessions to other family members. Typically, this is more of a gift than a loan, but it can help your loved one to think of it as a loan and that they can reclaim their items at any time. Some people rent storage units for their loved one’s possessions, but this does add an additional financial obligation, and it can be easy to fall into simply paying for this unit for years to come.


Finances, Dignity, and Compromise

When you first considered moving your loved one in with you, you likely had no intention of charging them any type of rent or other fee, especially if they’re on a fixed income. However, your loved one may feel that they’re taking advantage of you. They will want to pay their own way, even if you refuse to take any money from them. If your loved one feels that they’re taking advantage of you by not paying rent, look for ways to compromise. For example, they could treat the family to dinner once a week or pay for an outing once a month. You should have a discussion about finances before they move in, and you may need to accept that your loved one wants to contribute financially in some way. This isn’t truly about money—it’s about their dignity and desire to contribute. 


Conflicts of Personality

If your loved one is a parent, you may not have lived with them for years. If it’s an aunt, grandparent, or other loved one, you may never have cohabited before. Either way, this can lead to a series of conflicts between your loved one, you, and any other family members you have living with you. Your loved one may have a specific way of doing things that completely clashes with how you do those tasks. It’s not unusual for this to lead to fights over small, inconsequential things such as how to load the dishwasher. 

Being aware that these disagreements are coming can help you de-escalate the ensuing argument, but the clashes themselves are usually unavoidable. These types of disagreements happen anytime two people live together. The thing to remember is to keep calm and talk with your loved one to reach a compromise. 

If your loved one is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, you will need to be extra patient and kind. They may not remember discussing the topic, and they may default to old patterns and habits simply because that’s what they know. You may find yourself feeling frustrated often, but know it’s not your loved one’s fault. 


an elderly couple sitting together


The Role of Home Care Services

If your loved one wants to continue living at home, they’re going to need help. While you may be able to provide care on a daily basis, you do have to keep in mind that you have your own life. There are going to be times when you have to take care of errands, attend appointments, or will be ill. When that happens, you’re going to need someone else to step in. Sometimes, there’s another family member or friend who can help. 

If you don’t have any family who can help, what do you do? That’s when you turn to home care services such as those offered by Reliant. We will work closely with you and your loved one to determine what services are needed and how often. For some, we visit daily to help with tasks such as getting dressed and bathing. For others, we provide respite care, coming whenever you need a break.

Even if your loved one has moved in with you, you may still need a little help every now and then. Our respite care is ideal for these situations. Of course, even if you’re home with your loved one all day, their health could decline to the point that you simply can’t do it all. We can still assist you with helping your loved one. We’ll do a full evaluation of your loved one’s capabilities and resources when we first meet with you to determine what your loved one needs.


Reach Out to Reliant to Learn More

If your loved one is aging and having difficulty living on their own, it’s important to know what resources are available. Even if you plan on having them move in with you, you should still know what Reliant can do for you. Reach out today to discuss your loved one’s needs.