Moving parents in with you

When the folks move in
When the folks move in © Andresr/

Multigenerational households are becoming more common -- and it's not just unemployed adult children moving in with baby boomer parents. Longer lifespans and rising health care costs are bringing more aging parents into their children's spare rooms.

According to the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, from 2000 to 2007, the number of parents living with their adult kids rose from 2.2 million to 3.6 million -- an increase of 64 percent.

When contemplating moving parents in with you, the impulse is often to welcome mom or dad with open arms and little thought of consequences. Experts on geriatric care suggest a more cautious approach. It's a life-changing step for the parent as well as the caregiving child, the household and the extended family, they say, and everyone needs to understand what's involved.

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You've heard about college grads moving back in with their boomer parents, but what about boomer parents moving in with their adult children?

The number of parents living with their adult kids increased 64 percent from 2000 to 2007. This phenomenon can be attributed to longer lifespans, rising health care costs, and inadequate retirement savings. It's is a life-changing event for all involved and requires some preparation.

For instance, if this happens to you, will you be assuming the role of caregiver? Some long-term care insurance policies may cover payments to family members, but the premiums can be prohibitive. You might want to explore getting a financial contribution from your parent, which will help them feel that they are not a burden.

Be sure to get some estate planning documents updated right away. You need a health care proxy and power of attorney to make health care or financial decisions for your parent in the event they're unable to manage it. And consider installing modifications to the home, such as grab bars in the shower.



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