Moving in with a Parent After They Lose a Spouse: A Guide

After losing a parent or stepparent, it can be difficult to know what the next steps are. If you are experiencing grief on your own, it might be hard to think about helping your surviving parent move on from this point. Because grief can cause many different reactions in a person – and because it can last for months or years – it’s not always easy to proceed after such a loss. You may be wondering how to help your parent cope with depression or financial issues; if they have health concerns, that may be the first priority.

One thing many people who have lost a parent have in common is that they make the decision to move in with their loved one. This can be helpful for both parties as it can relieve a stressful financial situation, allow a grandparent to spend more time with the grandkids, and bring a family together after a period of loss. If you are considering moving in with a parent and upsizing – that is, buying a home together so that everyone has their own space – it’s important to keep in mind that your loved one may have future needs that a home should address. Aging in place means that a senior can keep living at home well after retirement age, and that requires a home to be safe and accessible.

Keep reading for some helpful tips on how to find the right home for you and your parent.

Location Is Key

If you have children who are still in school, finding a house within that district is likely important to you. However, it’s also important to take your loved one’s needs into consideration. If your parent has health concerns that require many doctor’s visits per month, it may be difficult for him or her to make that journey if you move far away. When you begin looking for a new house, start your search within a particular radius and work your way out. If the perfect home is a little outside the lines when it comes to your loved one’s needs, look for transportation options such as a free bus ride from a senior care service.

Make Sure It’s Accessible

The home you share with your parent should be accessible to him or her at all ages. Even if your loved one is in good health now, there could be concerns down the road, including mobility issues that will make stairs and slippery floors dangerous. It’s a good idea to look for a home that is all one level and has either hardwood, laminate, or tile floors. This is because thick-pile carpeting can be a trip hazard for many seniors. If there are steps out front, consider installing a ramp to make it safe for your parent to traverse.

Think About Modifications

Finding a home that has all the things you need already built in can be difficult to say the least, but if you can find one that meets most of your needs and has room for updates, that will work just as well. Home modifications are popular nowadays and don’t have to be incredibly expensive; in fact, when it comes to making things safe for a senior, there are many projects you can do over a weekend and within a budget. Adding a grab-bar, a shower seat, and non-slip rubber mats in the bathroom are great ways to make a home more accessible that don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Click here for some great tips on home modifications.

Making the decision to move in with a parent is a big one, and it can have an effect on your family dynamic, your professional career, and your personal relationships. It’s important to weigh all the factors before making a decision and to keep communication open with your family so that everyone will be on the same page.