It is question that most families will face at some point or another. As parents and grandparents age, younger generations will be faced with the decision of who should be caring for them.
For most families, once an older member becomes unable to care for themselves in their own home, the choice is one between an assisted living facility and becoming a multi-generational home. Before any decision is made, it is really important to consider the needs and desires of all those involved and to look at the impact that whatever decision taken will have.
First of all, the senior citizen themselves will need to be asked what they would prefer. While some older people dread the idea of having to move into what they consider to be an “old people’s home,” others are mortified at the thought of becoming a burden to their families and wish to retain some independence and space. However, it is also important for other family members to be honest about their feelings on the issue. Moving a senior citizen into a home with a younger family can cause a number of issues. Privacy can become a problem, with older family members sometimes finding it hard to respect boundaries with family members they see simply as their children or grandchildren and who they are unable to view as independent adults.
Taking in an older relative can also tie you down and can make it hard to travel away from home, or in the case if the infirm, even spend longer periods of time out of the house. However, younger generations may also find that they cannot stand the idea of handing over responsibility for their relative to strangers.
The issue is a thorny one, but must be faced with complete honesty from all parties if a satisfactory decision is to be reached.