My Children Want Me to Live with Them
"My daughter and her husband want me to live with them. They have three children, a dog, a cat, and many friends. Their lives are a whirlwind of activities, sports, vacations, and commotion. I have been a widow for 10 years and have grown used to a much quieter lifestyle. I live in my own home and maintain it without any problem. I really enjoy my grandchildren and my daughter's company, but I am not certain I want to live with them or impose my later, higher-need years on them. I do not know what the future holds for me, so I am not certain what I should tell her."
You have beautifully put into writing exactly what you should say to your daughter. It is okay to desire some solitude over the hustle and bustle associated with family life. I am certain that you lived that part of your life and have accepted it is done. It is a little bit like looking back on college years (i.e., that lifestyle can be a lot of fun, but remembering all the hard work and busy schedules makes one not want to go back. Well, maybe for a football game, but not to relive the entire experience).
What your daughter is most likely concerned about is your welfare, should you not be able to care for yourself in the future. She is likely feeling obligated to offer a solution for you if you need it. One has to be grateful for a concerned and generous daughter; however, that does not mean it is the best solution for you or your future care needs.
You sound like an independent individual who is quite capable of making decisions. I recommend you begin exploring all future living situations. Do this by making appointments with elderly living places in your community. Get the pricing, talk about waiting lists and find out about the levels of care.
Once you have collected information about your options, talk it over with your daughter. If you plan in advance, the choice is clearly yours. Waiting until something happens – like many do – means the choice may be made too quickly, without the careful vetting that you now have the opportunity to do.
You may desire to stay in your home until your last breath. With enough money, that can be entirely possible. Calculate the cost of that type of care over time, and plan to have the money available for it. That would be true of care in a facility also.
After you complete your research, meet with your daughter and discuss your choice. A parent who plans is a wonderful gift for the children.
Family Caregiving Advice Column
Written by CEO, Mary Haynor, this newsletter is packed with useful tips, resources and practices that will make the lives of family caregivers easier.Learn More...
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