Living with elderly loved ones can be challenging.
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Hello, lovely readers. This is Carol Phillips, your Seniors Real Estate Specialist, Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist, and the award-winning author of “Transitions With Dignity – A Six Step Blueprint To Help Your Loved One Embrace Change.” Today, I’m here to explore a pertinent topic that many of you may be considering – inviting an elderly loved one to live in your home.

Is Your Home Ready for an Elderly Loved One?

While the idea of having your parent or grandparent live with you may warm your heart, it’s crucial to consider the practicalities. Above all, will you be able to provide the care they need? How will your family adjust to the changes? Is your home elder-friendly, and if not, can it be made so? Let’s delve into these questions and more.

Understanding the Practicalities: A Checklist

  • Care: Understand the level of care your loved one needs and how much you can provide.
  • Time: Consider your schedule, work commitments, and availability.
  • Relationship: Reflect on your interpersonal dynamics.
  • Home: Assess the elder-friendliness of your home and potential modifications.
  • Finances: Discuss financial contributions and understand how it affects your budget.
  • Family’s Feelings: Gauge your spouse and children’s feelings about the move-in.
  • Rules: Ensure your loved one can abide by the house rules.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Determine if your family can adjust to the lifestyle changes an older adult brings.
  • Social Network: Consider if your elderly relative will have a social network available.

Prepping Your Home: A Room-by-Room Guide

  • Stairs: If your home has stairs, consider installing a ramp, handrail, or chairlift.
  • Bedrooms: Make sure there’s a bedroom on the main floor. If not, consider repurposing a room.
  • Bathrooms: Ensure there’s a wheelchair-friendly bathroom on the main floor, equipped with handrails, a walk-in shower, and a taller toilet for ease of use.
  • Privacy: With everyone at home, it’s important to maintain a balance between interaction and privacy.
  • Noise: Consider noise levels, particularly during the night, and possibly invest in headphones or noise-cancelling devices.

Before you begin home alterations, calculate the costs and discuss the financial implications with all family members involved. For some, building a separate living space like a casita or mother-in-law house on the property might be a feasible option. Designed with your parent in mind, these spaces can offer a sense of independence while keeping loved ones close. The USC Leonard School of Gerontology offers a wealth of educational resources to help you understand your choices. Find the link on my website, .

Living with elderly loved ones is a significant decision that involves careful planning, open discussions, and often, a few home modifications. But with the right preparations, it can lead to a harmonious and fulfilling living arrangement for everyone. Finally, remember that every step you take towards making this transition is a testament to your love and commitment to their dignity and well-being.


Carol Phillips
Seniors Real Estate Specialist and Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist in Phoenix
Author of “Transitions With Dignity, A Six Step Blueprint To Help Your Loved One Embrace Change”

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