When Your Parent Moves In
David Horgan is an award-winning medical educator, promoter, filmmaker, and writer. "When Your Parent Moves In"
Horgan said that the details of opting to care for one's aging parents are certainly worth ironing out, on both sides of the equation.
Emotionally trying and complicated at times?
Absolutely. But, he concluded: "It helps if you have the right guide."
As we get older, so do our parents. Occasionally our parents, for whatever reason, need to move in with us. If this has happened to you, or might happen, David Horgan and Shira Block has some advice.
I had my mother-in-law come to move in with me. I was not prepared for it. We had bumpy times in the beginning as you can imagine.
When your parent is moving in, it doesn't happen automatically that all of a sudden you wake up and parent is elderly and can't care for themself, usually, overtime and happens slowly and you are not thinking that it is going to get worse, things have changed and now I can accept this change.
When you think about actually moving your parent in, you need to be really careful about the impact that it is going to have on your parent as well as your own core family. It is not the right decision for everybody.
When you take your parent out of their home, so much is going to change for them.
They don't know who the mailman is and where to go to the store. When you take away their routine, what happens is they expect you to fill in the pieces.
A lot of the preparation has to be about how do you fill in the social and emotional component without you being the sole person responsible.
People make this decision at a time of crisis. Make the decision at a non-emotional time.
Should you move your parent in or not?
Your responsible to care take your parent in a loving way, how you do it would be individual.
We did not do assisted living. We had the resources to have someone go in their home and care for them that way and very expensive and not everyone has those resources.
So how do you make the decision?
You make the decision based on other factors. I have the biggest house. Instead of looking, what is best for my parent?
How do I best care for my parent in the most loving way?
Remember, this is not a child, this is an adult that lives a fabulous life.
There is a core family unity that we think is important. It has to be respected. As well, you want to respect their boundaries. You know, maybe mom doesn't want you go into her in-law apartment all of the time when you feel like it.
It is privacy. When you take two adults. You have to create the alpha person in the relationship. There has to be some guidelines about what is acceptable.
It can be a very difficult and stressful time for the family.
David Horgan was awarded the Freddie Award for excellence in interactive education by the American Medial Association.
His other writer/producer honors include a Silver Cindy, a Bronze Cindy, and being named for the American Medical Association/Time Inc.
Award for his Health Education Cardio Vascular Disease interactive education program.
Times have changed, and Americans no longer necessarily have an extended view of their families; it is part an acknowledgement that our familial tribes have become spread out and more narrowly defined.
When he was growing up, his grandparents' house provided shelter for extended family members.
- Joseph I. Kessler, President
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