Your parents raised you from birth until you moved out either to live with a partner or by yourself. Either way you were then free to live your life independent of the rules set by your parents. The tables will be turned if a parent moves into your home. The parent will now have to live by your rules.
Independence is the major concern for a parent moving into a child’s home. For one thing the child is now an adult. The parent can no longer dictate to the child. As such the parent may feel out of place, no longer in control and uncomfortable. Conflicts are bound to arise if any problems are not given immediate attention.
If at all possible it is recommended that the parent not move in with a child. There are several retirement villages where a parent can live with dignity and preserve independence. Best of all they would be surrounded by people their same age and provide company.
If however the parent must move into a child home then clear rules need to be set from the start to respect the parent’s need for independence and dignity. For example, a parent may expect meal times at certain hours. If a parent is used to having dinner at six o’clock and the child has no set time for dinner this will cause anxiety for the parent. If the parent goes to bed at nine pm and expects peace and quiet then if the child has the television on to eleven pm this will cause anxiety. If the child prepares meals that the parent doesn’t like this will cause anxiety. In short there will be many issues to resolve.
The parent will need to feel involved with the child. The child must make the parent feel welcome to join in any family activity. If the child decides to go to the beach for the day then the parent needs to be asked if he/she wants to come. There would be nothing worse if the parent is left alone to brood when the child goes on an outing and completely ignores the parent. Similarly if the child throws a party at home then consideration needs to be given to the parent. If the parent is comfortable around many people quite younger than them self then that’s fine, however alternate arrangement may have to be made that day.
There are bound to be disagreements in any family from time to time. These need to resolved quickly and not allowed to escalate. Many small incidents may sound trivial but over time resentment builds up and voices become raised if these matters reach boiling point. A parent may not realize that by leaving false teeth in a jar on the bathroom wash basin overnight is causing the child to resent having to see them each night. A child may like eating pizza and may resent a parent informing him/her that pizza is a major problem for people on a diet every time.
The decision to allow a parent to move into a child home therefore requires serious thought. Key issues to be considered is the impact of both parties to their independence , lifestyles and ability to compromise. Remember when you were a child being raised as a baby your parent made many sacrifices, but above all showed you love and understanding. This may be your opportunity to repay your parent in kind.