Moving and Downsizing

Should You Move In With Ageing Parent?

April 11, 2017

On Facebook recently, I asked people in Ottawa to share their biggest concern about moving a parent into a retirement home.

The most popular response went something like this:

“I worry that a retirement residence wouldn’t watch or care for my parent as well as I could.”

At Tea and Toast, this is a common concern we hear all the time from adult children of ageing parents (it may very well echo the same worries you have).

And let’s be honest: you probably could take better care of your parents than any retirement residence! After all, you’ve known them your whole life. You know their personality, their likes and dislikes, and all the nuances that make them so special to you.

So it makes sense that sometimes, adult children decide to selflessly move their parent (or parents) into their own home.

Is moving your aging parent in with you a good decision?

It’s about you, too!

But this isn’t just about your parents’ well-being. It’s about yours as well.

Here’s an interesting stat I heard recently at a seminar in Ottawa at The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre: 45% of adult children take some form of responsibility for caring for three seniors!

At first, I thought it sounded crazy. Three seniors?

But then I thought about a personal friend of mine: she is in her 30s, has a mother with early onset dementia, a father who recently got really sick and cannot take care of himself, and a grandmother who also needs help. And she is caring for each of them in some form.

Think of it: there are so many ways to care for elderly people, outside of having them live with you. And even that can take a lot of time and energy.

Are you prepared?

At Tea and Toast, we are so fortunate to regularly meet with kind, caring adult children across Ottawa who only want the best for their loved ones.

But before you decide that your parent will be better off moving in with you (as opposed to going the retirement residence route), ask yourself:

  • How much time are you willing to invest, to care for your aging parent yourself? Depending on their health and needs, your parent may need 24-hour care.
  • Will supporting your parent take a toll on your own family? Especially if you have children, the amount of care your parent needs may take valuable time away from kids who also need you.
  • Will supporting your parent take a toll on your own sanity? How about your career and personal life? Are you likely to suffer burnout?

Meanwhile, ask yourself why you think your parent will be better off living with you. For example:

A door opening with a key and house shaped keychain
Should you move in with your ageing parent?

Retirement residences have come a long way

Trust me when I say this: retirement homes aren’t what they used to be.

Today’s retirement residences provide a range of services from independent to memory care, and everything in-between. Many are designed for independent living as well as those with a greater range of needs like:

  • bathing and dressing,
  • ordering and distributing medications,
  • housekeeping,
  • laundry services, and
  • emergency call systems.

Having spent more than a dozen years working in this industry, I can assure you that many of those homes are beautiful, comfortable, warm, and full of professionals who genuinely care about your parents’ well-being.

Just take a look at our retirement residence listings and stories of flourishing Ottawa seniors to get a better idea!

Support comes in all forms

At Tea and Toast, we make sure you understand all your options—taking into account the wellbeing of the entire family unit.

The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, as experts in the seniors care industry, we can give you the information you’re seeking, based on your individual situation.

Maybe after working with us, you will decide to move your parent into a retirement residence after all. And maybe you will decide to take them in yourself.

Regardless, we are here to help you make that decision and life transition a little easier—for everyone involved.

Want to know more about how Tea and Toast can help you? Check out these wonderful testimonials from Ottawa seniors and families who have used our services! Or, contact us directly to set up an appointment at or (613) 698.1319.

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