When it comes time to move a parent into your home...

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Posted on by Gary Joseph LeBlanc

    As we age most of us usually find it hard to admit that now we may need help from others. Nobody copes well with the feeling of losing independence. If you are attempting to move ailing parents or loved ones into your home for their own safety, don’t be surprised if this brings on serious aggressions.

    Many well-meaning offspring have nobly spent thousands of dollars to modify their homes to suit their parents’ needs. It’s not unusual to hear of them building additional bathrooms, extra living space, wheelchair ramps and maybe even buying new furniture. But often when moving day arrives, the people being moved may bluntly refuse to leave their own home. It can be close to impossible to force someone to do something they don’t want to do. The harder you push the nastier the battle becomes.

    You can always try using the statement "This will be better than the alternative," but I believe threats will only make things worse.

    Here is a suggestion; have the space ready for them and then invite them to spend a night as a guest. Try doing this once or twice a month, gradually building up to having them stay for a weekend. Hopefully they will start to feel comfortable there and will no longer enjoy returning to their empty house. Maybe you could ask them to come over for dinner and a movie one night, then explain you’re too tired to drive them home. Reassure them they will be home first thing in the morning and that you have a beautiful place for them to sleep in the meantime. By letting them adapt gradually, you might take some of the fight off your hands.

    Before you even consider this you need to be fully aware of what you’re getting yourself and your family into. Many sacrifices will have to be made.

    Instinctively, you may feel generous toward helping someone who is ill, especially if they’re a loved one. Every family’s situation is different. Take the time to discuss your plans with other members of your household. Things will go so much smoother if everyone is on board. Carefully consider what you’re going to do with all of the loved ones’ possessions. Do they have pets? How comfortable are you with their personal care. Keep in mind that they are going to need more and more assistance as they deteriorate from the illness.

    "Aging in place" is a term used for when the elderly remain in their home for as long as possible. But for most seniors, this time will come to an end. This is, without question, true for those suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

    We only have one set of parents. One may look at it as returning the favor; after all, they are the ones that raised us and got us on our feet, ready to face the world. There may come a time when we will have to switch roles.

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One Response to When it comes time to move a parent into your home

  1. Hi Gary, I’m a nurse who has spent 20 years taking care of people with dementia, developing dementia units, doing education and training and recently, writing a book called Kisses for Elizabeth which is also a common sense guide to Alzheimer’s and dementia care.
    I did not know you had published a book about common sense care and was delighted to find out about it. Kisses for Elizabeth is for both family and professional caregivers, but takes common sense care into long term care facilities and day car centers. The book has are 40 true stories about how common sense care solved or prevented problems and Elizabeth’s story is on the website. I’d be interested to find out more about the application of common sense care to providing care in the home setting.
    I wish you luck with your book and would like to discuss your philosophy of care a little more with you.
    Stephanie Zeman MSN RN
    Kissesforelizabeth.com

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