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Buying a Home to Share with Your Elderly Parent

By Gregg Camp Published 10/13/2009 | Real Estate

In many cultures, the traditional living  arrangements that families had was for multiple generations to live under one  roof and help take care of the household together; in our modern times this has  become more of a rarity, but due to financial concerns some families are  returning to a multi-generational living arrangement. 

If you do not currently own a home thatís  large enough to house all of the family members thatíll be living together you  will need to purchase one that has enough space and amenities. If you will be  living with both of your elderly parents, you may want to purchase a home with  a whole suite built into it; if you will be sharing your home with just one  parent you may want to opt for a smaller solution like having an extra bedroom  with an ensuite for them.

When looking for a new home for the whole  family, elements of universal design will be welcome elements, but some of  these can be added at a later date if the home doesnít already contain them. Universal  design elements allow people with mobility problems of all kinds access to the  home just like everyone else has. Levered door handles, grab bars, wide  doorways, and walk-in showers are all examples of universal design.

Whether or not your parent has mobility  issues now, itís a good idea to make allowances for the possibility that they  will have them in the future.  Look for a  home that has an on-grade entranceway so that they wonít need to climb any  stairs.  Itís also a good idea if their  bedroom and bathroom can be on the main floor of the home for easy access.

If you have children, it is a good idea for  your new home to have their bedrooms or play areas far enough removed from your  parentís sleeping area so that the children are free to play without disturbing  your parent if they are resting.  Many  older people arenít used to the hustle and bustle of living with children and  will need a quiet retreat.

Whether youíre looking to live with your  elderly parent just until they require a more hands-on living arrangement or if  you plan on giving them care right up till the end of their life, it is a good  idea to sit down and make a plan for what you and your family is going to need  to accomplish that goal. Take into account the needs of everyone in the family,  including your own; care-giving is an exhausting job so make sure that you have  private space for yourself as well.

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