Pros and Cons of Living with Your Loved One Who Needs Long-Term Care
It can be a challenge for anyone to determine the type of long-term care their loved one needs. You might think you are the only person qualified to take care of your aging parent or another family member or loved one because you know them best. However, it can be stressful and time-consuming.
If your loved one can no longer take care of themselves, and you cannot afford to place them in a long-term care facility or hire a home health care nurse, the only available option might be to live with your loved one. There are pros and cons to moving your family member into your home.
You should do thorough research and base your decision on what meets everyone’s needs. You could also benefit from hiring an elder law attorney to guide you through the process, so you make the right choice for everyone involved.
Pros of Living with Your Senior Relative
There are multiple advantages to living with someone in need of long-term care. They include:
- Quality time together – You can enjoy spending more time with your loved one when they live with you. Planning movie nights, game nights, and other activities can strengthen your bond and boost everyone’s mood. Additionally, seniors can avoid feeling lonely or depressed by always having someone around they can interact with.
- Lower financial burdens – While the cost of moving your loved one into your home might increase your monthly expenses, such as food and utilities, placing them in a long-term care facility will cost even more. You do not have to worry about paying facility fees and additional expenses for nursing care, participating in community programs, and other such necessities if they live with you.
- Care from a trusted professional – Whether you enlist the help of other family members or a doctor you have known for years, you can rest assured that your loved one will be in trusted and capable hands. You can personally oversee the treatment your relative receives, schedule necessary appointments, and delegate to others you trust when you have additional obligations.
- Avoid abuse and neglect – Knowing you are responsible for your loved one’s health and future can give you peace of mind. Staff members in long-term care establishments may provide the residents with the daily assistance and medical care they need. However, abuse and neglect are a growing concern in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Cons of Living with Your Senior Relative
Although there is a range of benefits to moving your loved one in with you, you can also face a variety of challenges. The most significant cons include:
- More responsibilities – Aside from your own usual responsibilities, such as working and possibly taking care of your children, you now face the responsibility of caring for an older adult with specific needs. They might have dementia or a physical disability that prevents them from living independently. That means you must monitor them regularly and conceivably assist with basic daily tasks, such as showering, eating, and perhaps even movement.
- Inability to provide necessary care – Although you want to take in your loved one, you might not have the experience or resources. Your home could be too small to accommodate another person, or you might live in a building without an elevator. This can create challenges as you try to find solutions to make this a smooth transition and enrich your relative’s life while they are with you.
- Lack of privacy – If you are used to living alone, having someone there all the time that you must care for can be overwhelming. You do not have the privacy you are used to anymore. Instead of coming and going as you usually do, you must check in on another person to keep them safe and healthy. You can no longer enjoy the peace and quiet you are used to having.
- Less structure than a nursing home or assisted living – Long-term care facilities usually offer seniors the structure and stability they need to thrive. If you have a demanding work schedule or multiple people living with you, it might be difficult to provide your loved one with a comfortable routine. Eating dinner at the same time every night and driving them to activities they can participate in every week might not be possible.
Taking care of an older adult who is unable to take care of themselves requires a significant sacrifice. You must be willing to be flexible with your schedule and meet your loved one’s needs. While it can be immensely rewarding, it is important to be aware of the demands and the commitments that can come with such a decision and to balance that with the abundant benefits that come with that important choice.
If you are considering moving your elderly loved one into your home, contact our Williamsburg elder law attorneys immediately to discuss the steps you need to take. You may need additional resources, like an updated financial power of attorney or healthcare power of attorney to make your life as a full-time caregiver easier. In addition, you might want to discuss a caregiver contract depending on your specific situation. To get started, contact us at (757) 645-3176 or (866) 603-5976.