Help! My parents are moving in with me!

Keys with wooden house as a keyring

How to prepare for combining your home with multiple generations

More and more parents are moving in with their adult children, and the trend probably won’t reverse any time soon. As nursing home costs continue to rise, children and their parents are finding that living together is a better arrangement, both financially and emotionally. But having a parent move in is a big adjustment for everyone, and it is important to be prepared. Preparations can range from making physical adjustments to the house to figuring out finances. Here are some things to think about.

Work out the financial details first: If the adult children have siblings, the question of whether the siblings are going to contribute to the parents’ room and a board can be sensitive. Even if there are no siblings, there is still the question of how much the parents can or should contribute to the household. An extra mouth to feed can be expensive. It can get even more costly if you need to do major renovations or hire a home health care worker. Should the parents have a contract in which they pay the children for caring for them? If the parents contribute to the remodeling of the house, do they gift their portion of the house to the children, retain an interest, or put it in a trust? These and other decisions can affect the parents’ eligibility for Medicaid if it becomes necessary for the parents to enter a nursing home at some point. To avoid fostering resentment and guilt among family members, you should try to work out as many of these details as you can before the big move. We can help your family create a plan that takes all the various contingencies into account so that everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect, AND so that you don’t inadvertently jeopardize medicaid coverage for any long term nursing home care.

Make the home senior friendly: Whether putting in addition or just fixing up a spare bedroom, adjustments will probably have to be made to accommodate the parent or parents. Some basic adjustments include replacing doorknobs with levers, checking railings to make sure they are sturdy, installing grab bars in the bathroom and putting non-slip backing on rugs. More significant changes could be converting a room on the first floor into a bedroom, widening doors to allow wheelchair or walker to pass through, or installing ramps. In addition to these accommodations, space should be personalized for the parents. Consider the parents’ likes and dislikes and what would make them feel at home when renovating. It is important that even if the parents have only one bedroom of their own, they feel like it is their space.

Find your community resources: If the family members are serving as caregivers, they don’t need to feel like they are doing this all alone. There is a number of services that are designed to help caregivers. From home health care workers to meals programs and transportation services to adult daycare centers and respite services, there are a number of different ways to get help. The attorneys at Ferrari, Butler & Moneymaker have access to local resources that will help guide you in this transition.  Call us today!

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