Your parents were probably the safety net for you to boomerang back to during your young adult life, and now that they are aging, you figure it is time to move your elderly parents in with you. It is important to keep in mind that multigenerational living can have a pretty big impact on yourself, your parents, and your family.
If you do it the right way, this can be a marvelous bonding experience, as you'll get the chance to get to know your parents in a new way, your parents will feel less isolated and your kids can learn valuable lessons about family connection. No matter how close and loving your relationship is, however, having extra members of the household can change the dynamics of your family.
Here are the top things you should consider when your elderly parents move in with you.
1. Have "The Talk" with Everyone
It is crucial to have an open and frank discussion about all the issues such as expectations, fears, and finances with your spouse, parents, children, and siblings. Try to walk through as many "what if situations" as you can and decide on the best course of action to be taken for each one. Even though you love your parents and the idea of them moving in may sound great, things will not be exactly the same as when you were a teenager since you have added a husband or wife, children, and work responsibilities during the course of the last twenty years. Don't forget to take the time to involve your children in the process, let them know that this is the right thing to do, and discuss what they can do to help their grandparents out.
2. Assess your Living Space
Just as with childproofing, you may have to assess your home to ensure your parents' safety. This depends on their current health situation and the amount of care they need. Each room in the house will require its own set of considerations to make sure that your elderly parents can live safely and happily.
When considering the bedroom situation, make sure that your parents have easy access to common areas like the living room or kitchen but that they have a sense of privacy. Even though you will all be living together, it is always good if you can provide your parents with some space of their own. If your parents can't handle the stairs, a ground floor bedroom is ideal or you may want to consider installing a stairlift.
Depending on your parents' levels of mobility and strength, you may want to consider upgrading your bathroom with some handrails or walk-in tubs. The experts from UpliftingMobility.com explain that a raised toilet seat is also something you should look into. They offer wider and longer seating space as well as greatly reducing the effort needed to stand up after use because they are higher than regular toilets.
If your aging parents have difficulty walking, you may need to make your home accessible to wheelchairs. This may involve adding ramps or widening doorways and purchasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle for when you need to travel.
3. Look for Some Help
If your parents are in good health physically and cognitively, then they may not even need too much assistance. Most of the time however, when elderly parents are moving in with their families it is because they are in some kind of decline, and this only tends to get worse over time.
With all the other responsibilities in your life, it will be a huge burden for you to do all of the work alone. Fortunately, there are some really useful and experienced caregivers and other assistance that you can reach out to.
Having someone to assist your parents is beneficial when you have a fulltime job or have to take care of your children. A paid caregiver can support your parents with transportation, cooking, and housework so that they are provided with the care and support that they need whilst you take care of your other responsibilities.
Family and Friends
People who love you and your parents will always be there when you need them. Whether you need physical, emotional, or financial support, they'll be more than happy to help. Reach out to your loved ones whenever things are getting too much or you need a night off.
Living with an elderly parent can be a special time for everyone involved. Although there are many things to take care of, don't forget that your ultimate goal is to keep your parents happy and healthy. It may be mentally draining and exhausting at times, but the memories you can make together will be easily worth it.
3 Min Read
"How did you ever get into a business like that?" people ask me. They're confounded to hear that my product is industrial baler wire—a very unfeminine pursuit, especially in 1975 when I founded my company in the midst of a machismo man's world. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up—even if it involved a non-glamorous product. I'd been fired from my previous job working to become a ladies' clothing buyer and was told at my dismissal, "You just aren't management or corporate material." My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Over the years, I've learned quite a few tough lessons about how to successfully run a business. Below are five essential elements to keep in mind, as well as my story on how I learned them.
Find A Need And Fill It
I gradually became successful at selling various products, which unfortunately weren't profitable enough to get me off the ground, so I asked people what they needed that they couldn't seem to get. One man said, "Honey, I need baler wire. Even the farmers can't get it." I saw happy dollar signs as he talked on and dedicated myself to figuring out the baler wire industry.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up.
Now forty-five years later, I'm proud to be the founder of Vulcan Wire, Inc., an industrial baler wire company with $10 million of annual sales.
Have Working Capital And Credit
There were many pitfalls along the way to my eventual success. My daughters and I were subsisting from my unemployment checks, erratic alimony and child-support payments, and food stamps. I had no money stashed up to start up a business.
I paid for the first wire with a check for which I had no funds, an illegal act, but I thought it wouldn't matter as long as I made a deposit to cover the deficit before the bank received the check. My expectation was that I'd receive payment immediately upon delivery, for which I used a rented truck.
Little did I know that this Fortune 500 company's modus operandi was to pay all bills thirty or more days after receipts. My customer initially refused to pay on the spot. I told him I would consequently have to return the wire, so he reluctantly decided to call corporate headquarters for this unusual request.
My stomach was in knots the whole time he was gone, because he said it was iffy that corporate would come through. Fifty minutes later, however, he emerged with a check in hand, resentful of the time away from his busy schedule. Stressed, he told me to never again expect another C.O.D. and that any future sale must be on credit. Luckily, I made it to the bank with a few minutes to spare.
Know Your Product Thoroughly
I received a disheartening phone call shortly thereafter: my wire was breaking. This horrible news fueled the fire of my fears. Would I have to reimburse my customer? Would my vendor refuse to reimburse me?
My customer told me to come over and take samples of his good wire to see if I might duplicate it. I did that and educated myself on the necessary qualities.
My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Voila! I found another wire supplier that had the right specifications. By then, I was savvy enough to act as though they would naturally give me thirty-day terms. They did!
More good news: My customer merely threw away all the bad wire I'd sold him, and the new wire worked perfectly; he then gave me leads and a good endorsement. I rapidly gained more wire customers.
Anticipate The Dangers Of Exponential Growth
I had made a depressing discovery. My working capital was inadequate. After I purchased the wire, I had to wait ten to thirty days for a fabricator to get it reconfigured, which became a looming problem. It meant that to maintain a good credit standing, I had to pay for the wire ten to thirty days before my customers paid me.
I was successful on paper but was incredibly cash deprived. In other words, my exponentially growing business was about to implode due to too many sales. Eventually, my increasing sales grew at a slower rate, solving my cash flow problem.
Delegate From The Bottom Up
I learned how to delegate and eventually delegated myself out of the top jobs of CEO, President, CFO, and Vice President of Finance. Now, at seventy-eight years old, I've sold all but a third of Vulcan's stock and am semi-retired with my only job currently serving as Vice President of Stock and Consultant.
In the interim, I survived many obstacles and learned many other lessons, but hopefully these five will get you started and help prevent some of you from having the same struggles that I did. And in the end, I figured it all out, just like you will.