Moving parents in with you

Are you ready emotionally?
Are you ready emotionally? © wong sze yuen/

"I always ask how the prospective caretakers get along with the parent and with their siblings," Fernandez says. If your relationship with your father has been strained, living under the same roof again is going to cause emotional stress.

Be sure the rest of the family is on board with your plans, Fernandez advises. "Caregivers can quickly feel overwhelmed by taking on the job of caring for aging parents, and coordinating with other family members is key."

If siblings are not willing to pitch in and give the caretaker a break now and then, Zucker asks, will they help pay for a companion to come in once or twice a week? "Adult children have to think about what sort of respite can be built into their home lives," she says, "so that they are not with their parents at all times."

They may also have to lower their expectations, Zucker says. Older people are set in their likes and dislikes as well as their ways, and this can cause conflict.

"The emotional expense is trying," Schroeder says. "You may become almost resentful of the parent living with you, and siblings may become resentful of you having mom's extra money, not understanding how much extra work there is."

If your parent has a new spouse, Modigliani says, his feelings on the move need to be clear.


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