The Pros and Cons to Living with Aging Parents
When ageing in place isn’t possible, and moving to a retirement community is too costly, some seniors plan on moving in with their adult children’s family. This multigenerational living arrangement is an affordable solution to their changing needs in retirement, but it does pose unique challenges to caregivers.
Adapting your family’s home so that it’s a safe place to live is one of your top concerns, yet it’s not always clear what you need to do to improve the safety of your home.
Here at Evacuscape, North America’s leading provider of the evacuation chair, we know some of the uncertainty you may face, as it’s a burden shouldered by many of our customers.
When we’re not supplying the busiest corporate offices and retirement homes with our convenient evacuation chairs, we’re in touch with adult children acting as caregivers to their senior parents.
As this is a growing concern for our customers and the population at large, we thought it the perfect time to explore the pros and cons of multigenerational living.
Multigenerational Living isn’t New, but it is a Rapidly Growing Trend
Living with mom and dad may not be everyone’s dream, but this multigenerational living arrangement has long since been a tradition in some cultures. Nowadays, it’s on it way to becoming the new normal across the country.
According to the latest census, multigenerational households — or homes with at least three generations from the same family — are amongst the fastest-growing living arrangements in Canada.
What Are the Pros of Living with Your Ageing Parents?
Everyone in your family stands to gain something through this living arrangement, not just your aging parent.
Long-Term Financial Help
Multigenerational families can share the financial burden of running a household. Rather than paying utilities and the mortgage on two homes, you can pool your money into one. The cost-savings are even greater if you have young children, as your retired parents can look after them at no cost while you’re at work.
Slipping down the stairs, tripping on the carpet, or falling in the yard could spell disaster for your aging parents, especially if they live on their own. They may wait for hours (or even days) before someone realizes something is wrong.
By living together, you’ll increase the chances your parents won’t run into trouble, and if they do, someone will be home to help right away.
Living with others can boost their mental well-being while strengthening family bonds. This is particularly beneficial for grandchildren. Studies show children who live with their grandparents are more emotionally adjusted than those who do not.
Peace of Mind
It’s stressful knowing your aging parents are lonely or struggling on their own. Having them live with you can ease some of the stress you feel.
What Are the Cons of Living with Your Ageing Parents?
There are two sides to every coin. While there are clear advantages to welcoming your parents into your home, be prepared to face some trade-offs.
When your parents have mobility issues, you may need to renovate your home to eliminate safety hazards. This cost may be hard to handle on a tight budget, especially if you didn’t anticipate having to make these upgrades.
That’s why we keep our evacuation chair models at an affordable price. We understand it needs to be accessible to all, as it’s a critical mobility tool that keeps your parents safe in an emergency. But don’t take our word for here. Check out this post detailing everything you need to know about the evacuchair.
Unless you live in a multi-storied mansion with a sprawling yard, you’re likely going to share a small space with a lot of people. Between your children and your parents, you may not have a lot of privacy, with or without your partner. You’ll have to learn how to prioritize your time together — and apart!
Loss of Independence
The transition to living with several people can be hard on seniors who may have lived on their own for decades. Sharing spaces and needing to account for their whereabouts may be a hard habit to create.
A healthy relationship between everyone under one roof takes time, effort, and intention. This may come more naturally to some families than others.
What Can You Do to Improve the Safety of Your Home?
If you’re ready to welcome your aging parents into your home, you may be worried about how they’ll get around and go about their daily activities. Luckily, you can make your home an easier and safe place to live with only a few changes.
1. Reduce Tripping Hazards
Mobility and stability reduce as people age, so your parents may be unsteady on their feet. Keep this in mind as you walk through your home to find possible risks.
- Loose rugs are easy to trip over, so consider replacing these with carpets.
- Declutter toys if you have kids or pets, making sure to keep them out of the way.
- Remove extension cords and other wiring that may be on the floor.
2. Install Safety Accessories
Minor hardware upgrades to your existing home may be all you need to keep your parents safe.
- Grab bars: Install these in the shower, bath, near the toilet, and anywhere else they may need a hand.
- Railings: Add handrails to every staircase in and outside of the home, no matter how big or small.
- Anti-skid material: Lay down no-skid treatments to hardwood and tile floors that get wet.
For greater mobility issues, you may have to renovate parts of the home that pose the greatest risk, such as their bedroom or the bathroom.
As everyone has unique needs, it’s a good idea to talk with an occupational therapist to learn about what will help your parents most before you pull out your toolbox.
3. Create a Fire Exit Strategy
Every home should have a fire plan to make sure you and your family know how to exit safely in an emergency.
If you live in a multi-storied building, your plan should include an evacuchair. An escape chair allows seniors with reduced mobility a safe and quick way to descends stairs when they can’t on their own.
Weighing just 27.5 – 32 lbs depending on your model, they’re simple and convenient to use as it maneuvers across flat surfaces and downstairs with equal ease. Want to watch it in action? You can see our evacuation chair in use to understand how an evacuchair works in your home.
Are You Ready to Live Together?
Moving your parents into your home will no doubt involve a period of adjustment as everyone gets used to the setup. It’s a challenging transition for everyone involved despite how necessary it may be for your family.
Feelings of indecision and anxiety are normal, but you’ll eventually get used to this new arrangement. You can make it easier by ensuring everyone communicates clearly about their needs, fears, and expectations. And don’t forget about the mobility tools they may need to lead a safe life in your home.
To learn more about our evacuation chairs, give us a call today. We’re happy to explain why our evacuation chairs are such valuable tools in an emergency.