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Front Page » May 2, 2013 » Senior Focus » Offering space to the elderly needs consideration
Published 891 days ago

Offering space to the elderly needs consideration

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As many seniors age, their ability to live independently is compromised. An older adult may suffer from a medical condition that makes it difficult or impossible for him or her to drive an automobile or manage day-to-day life independently. In such instances, many younger relatives opt to invite an aging parent or grandparent into their homes, a decision that men and women should not take lightly.

Asking an aging relative to move into your home is often a selfless decision rooted in the affection you feel for that person. But there are certain things to consider about your home as well as your finances before inviting an aging relative to move in.

Space in the Home

When your household is taking on a new member, you will obviously need to find some space for that person. But if you're currently at full capacity, then you will need to determine if the space you have is truly capable of handling an additional member of the household. Seniors often value their privacy, so sharing a room is not an ideal option nor one that your relative is likely to embrace. If you determine you'll need to remodel or add a new suite to your home, it's important to know that such projects can be very expensive, with a room addition very likely costing close to or more than six figures.

But men and women with lots of available space in their home may find their home is not ideal for seniors, either. For example, seniors whose physical condition is less than ideal might not be able to get up or down stairs easily and might find walking from room to room in a large house to be too physically taxing. Before inviting an aging relative into your home, be sure the space available in your home is suitable that person and their particular condition.

Medical Facilities

Many seniors need to visit medical facilities more frequently than younger men and women. This makes the proximity of your home to doctors' offices a significant factor to consider before inviting an aging relative to move into your home. If your home is far off the beaten path or in an area where access to medical care is sparse, then your loved one's health may be compromised if he or she moves into your home. Discuss your loved one's medical condition and history with them before extending an invitation. If he or she has considerable medical needs and your access to reliable medical facilities is limited, then you might need to move before you can comfortably house an aging relative or explore other housing options for this person.

Personal Finances

The cost of caring for an aging relative is considerable. According to the MetLife Mature Market Institute, the average cost of in-home care for a parent who requires a home health aide was slightly less than $22,000 per year in 2011. That's a considerable amount of money, especially for men and women whose own retirement is imminent. Because those costs are so substantial, many men and women care for their aging relatives on their own, which can still prove quite costly over the long haul. Taking on that role might impact income you sorely need, especially if you're forced to scale back your workload so you can better care for an aging relative.

Inviting an aging relative to move into your home is a decision that requires careful consideration of a host of factors

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