One of the most difficult, but also most beneficial, decisions you can make as a family caregiver is to bring your aging parent to live in your home with you and the rest of your family. Having them at such close proximity can make it easier for you to fulfill care needs and enable you to use your time more effectively.
In order to make the most of this arrangement, it is important to establish boundaries. These boundaries define relationships, clarify expectations, and make the transition smoother for the entire family. One area where boundaries are particularly important is in parenting. Establishing these boundaries is a way to maintain relationships and promote the most effective care for your senior while they are living with you.
Some parenting boundaries to establish when your parent moves in with you include:
- Before your parent moves in, reaffirm your role as the parent of your children and emphasize that this role will not change when they move in. Be firm about this to avoid any confusion and uncomfortable situations,
- Talk to your senior about your parenting techniques and beliefs. This is especially important if they differ from your senior’s own parenting style. It is important to be clear about these so there is no conflict when it comes to parenting situations later.
- Make sure your senior understands your expectations regarding them helping care for your children, but also your guidelines regarding limitations to what they can and cannot do .
- If there is a situation that arises involving a disagreement between your parent and you, avoid arguing in front of your children. Instead, separate from the situation and have a conversation with your parent. Be clear and firm about these differences and that you do not want them trying to parent your children.
- Remember that even though your parent is living with you again, you are still in charge of your home and your life. This will help you to avoid confrontations and maintain a healthier relationship with your senior.
One of the best resources you can have as a family caregiver is elder care. An elder care services provider can supplement the care you already give your parent to ensure their needs are met, but also that they are able to live their best life as they age in place.
These services can include transportation to help them stay active and engaged in their daily life, mobility support, assistance with activities of daily living, medication reminders, meal preparation, and more.
Knowing your parent has this care eases your stress, but also enables you to focus your energy and attention in the most effective and meaningful ways. This lets you know your parent has everything they need while also managing other aspects of your life, such as caring for your children or maintaining your career. This promotes better health and higher quality of life for both of you.