In Canada, one out of every four caregivers live with the elderly relative that they care for. The choice to take on the responsibility of caring for someone within your home brings with it many positives, such as being able to help around the house, babysit, and contribute financially. Our hearts often have the best of intentions but there are many decisions that must be made in advance.
This chart from APlaceForMom.com shows that the range in monthly costs for Senior Housing is from $1,400 to $7,000 per month. This encompasses three levels of assistance: Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care.
Here are 5 key questions to ask yourself:
1.) What kind of care will your relative need?
Schedule a group visit with your relative’s physician to find out the actual status of their health over what they or other family members may have relayed.
2.) How compatible is your family with your relative?
Look to your history as to how disagreements and differences have been dealt with. It is unlikely, that if there has been a rocky relationship, that it will all be smoothed over with providing a new place to live.
3.) How much assistance/supervision can you reasonably provide?
Be reasonable with your schedule and that of your family’s. After you work out a schedule, will there be time for your family to thrive after the daily care has been attended to? If it is maybe, then considering an in-home aide to assist during the day or the evening.
4.) How will you handle the financial responsibility of care-giving?
Starting with an accurate understanding of your relative’s income, savings, and holdings, will allow you to calculate what will be needed to accommodate them as needed. There may be renovations required to your home and there will be a definite increase in food, medical, and clothing costs. Talk to your siblings about the cost of care, where the money will come from, and who will take care of the details.
5.) Do you really have the time to take on caregiving?
There are many other factors that come into play besides living accommodations. To have a smooth-running household, someone will need to make all their healthcare appointments, calls for services, dealing with legal documents and banking, filling in medical and insurance claims, etc. You may work out a system where the duties are split between siblings to even the extra work and keep you from developing ‘caregiver syndrome’ which will be detrimental to your physical and mental health and take a toll on your family dynamic.
Moving someone into your home will cost you in both financially and in lifestyle freedom. Both must be taken into consideration before making such a decision.