Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Creating Boundaries When Mom Moves In

If you are providing senior care to your mother or other elderly loved one, it is likely that they have already moved in or that you are considering the possibility that such a move will take place. While taking your elderly family member into your home is often a wonderful decision, it is important to remember that this is a major transition for both you and your loved one. As such, the setting and reinforcing of boundaries is critical to the success of such a move.

The senior care professionals in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, have helped several families adjust during this transition. John, who asked his mother Margaret to move in with him, turned to senior care providers to learn more about the needs of his mother and how he can provide them while creating minimal impact on the independence of them both. John was relieved to hear that there are several ways in which he can create strong boundaries that will protect and improve his relationship with his mother while he provides her with the senior care she has come to rely upon.

  1. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child; however, the authority of a parental figure should never be crossed. If you ask your parent to live with you and still have kids in the home, make sure that you stand firm in your role as parent. This boundary is one of the most difficult to create, but it is one of the most important.
  2. Ensure that financial responsibilities are clearly assigned. It may be awkward to discuss money matters with your loved one, but this will create a boundary that eliminates stress and encourages the smooth running of the home.
  3. If you have several people living in your house (spouse, kids, elderly loved one) it is important to set boundaries regarding your time. Set time aside for yourself each week. Taking this time to care for yourself is integral to your ability to take care of others.  
In addition to these tips, John and Margaret took the advice to communicate often and honestly. In doing so, they are able to determine what new boundaries need to be set and how to best reinforce them.

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