Some of us have houses far larger than we need, but would never dream of inviting an aging parent to live with us. Others wouldn’t dream of having dad or mom live anywhere else, even if we had to sacrifice our own comforts. Sometimes, it’s just plain impossible to take care of the physical and emotional needs of an elderly parent, no matter how much we want to care for them under our own roof.
Sixteen members of the FabOverFifty community tell us what it was like to have their folks move in, why they wouldn’t think of it, or why they actually might move in with them.
“My mother knows that when she is ready she has a place with me. She loves her independence, and right now is still active enough to be on her own. I travel with her as the ‘baggage carrier’.”
“Absolutely without a doubt. To me it’s the life cycle of family! I did care for my father and it wasn’t a walk in the park. However, the rewards and love far outweigh anything I could have imagined! Unfortunately, my mother passed when I was a child. I often think what it would be like living with her and caring for her! Both of us such opinionated women but quick to learn and face challenges.”
“No, with the facilities my elderly family members live in, they are better able to provide care than I am. I am not physically able to lift anyone in and out of the tub, change their diapers, make sure all the meals they get are calorically/nutritionally balanced, and account for all the interactions with meds at the same time. I can’t provide group entertainment everyday with others of their age with whom they have common interests. I don’t have someone to stay with them when I go out grocery shopping etc. I would never forgive myself if something happened where I went out and they turned on the stove to make tea, forgot they did, and started a house fire, which happened to someone I know. Dementia can be dangerous. It’s not selfish, sometimes it’s just not the responsible and correct thing to do.”