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Like my clients, you may consider (now or in the future) moving a loved one like a parent or sibling into your house to save money on long-term care costs, thinking it will be easier and safer than other options such as a nursing home. For this example, I will use a “parent” to describe the person who may move into your home, and will discuss three factors to consider before deciding:
- Is your home “age-friendly?”
There are many barriers that may make it difficult to move your parent into your home or to keep them in your home. Currently, your parent may be able to manage stairs but what if they can’t manage stairs for a short or long period of time? Maryland homes tend to be two- or three-story homes, which may limit your parents’ ability to get around in your home. From the outside of your home, can they enter without using stairs? If not, can you install a ramp outside if they are in a wheelchair? If your parent can’t walk up the stairs to their bedroom and bathroom, can you install a stairlift? If not, can they live on the main floor? While stairs can be dangerous, simple items in your home such as a floor rug or pair of shoes may cause your parent to fall and injure themselves. For recommendations on how to make your home age-friendly, you may want to consult an expert who can visit and renovate your home.
- Can you safely leave your parent(s) alone?
When you’re unable to care for your parent full-time because of work or other commitments, can you leave your parent alone? If not, will you need to hire someone for 6-8 hours each day? If they went outside alone, can they find their way back to your home? Can they turn on the stove without causing a bigger issue? Can they shower safely? At first glance, you may think you are saving money by moving your parent into your home but there may be hidden costs to consider.
- Does your parent have enough social activities to keep them engaged?
People “do better” when they have social activities and mental stimulation. If your parent moves to your house and leaves their community, can you replace that connection to the outside world? You may want to consider an adult day care, senior center, or friendly visitor to assist you. While making this transition, accept that it is going to be almost impossible to change your parent’s personality. If they did not like interacting with people prior to living with you, they probably will not want to attend a senior center for social activities.
Deciding if your home is age-friendly as well as if your parent can be left home alone safely and how to keep them engaged are a few important factors to consider. Before a loved one moves into your home, proper planning can save your family time, energy, and money. There is no right answer to whether your parent should move into your home or not. Every family and situation is different.
At Griboff Law, we discuss your family’s situation to determine what legal issues you have with moving a parent to Maryland. If it is not a legal issue, we provide you with resources to help make that decision.