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Critical Advice for Moving Elderly Parents into Your Home

advice for moving in an elderly parent

If you’ve decided to move elderly parents into your home, you might be overwhelmed by the process ahead. The decision itself is often emotional and complex, and the moving process is its unique challenge. If you’re stressed about the process ahead, we’re here to help. 

Do your best to set expectations about the process before it begins. Moving parents into your space isn’t an overnight endeavor. Have conversations with your parents (and anyone else in your household!) about what needs to be done to ensure everyone’s comfort. 

At Life Storage, we know a lot about stressful life transitions. Below, we’ll walk you through the process of preparing for elderly parents to move in. First up: preparing your mind for the stress you may encounter along the way.

How to Mentally Prepare for Caretaking

mentally prepare for elderly parents to move in

1. Revisit your decision when stressed.

When things get hard and stressful (and they will), remember why you chose to have your parents live with you. Moving elderly parents into your home can be an ideal option for families who want to ensure their parent has their needs met. Everyone has their own rationale behind the decision, so identify yours and return to it often.  

Reminding yourself of your “why” can help put things in perspective when emotions take over. If something happens during the move that triggers sadness, anger, or frustration, take a few deep breaths. Then, bring your “why” to mind as a way to recenter your emotions. 

If you’re not quite sure of your “why,” here are some explanations that may resonate with you:

Sometimes plans change (and that’s okay), which leads to our second suggestion.

2. Be honest about how much caretaking your parents need.

Even if an adult care facility is out of the question, it’s still important to honestly assess your parent’s care needs. If you can’t accurately determine what your parents need, contact a doctor or care facility to get a clearer understanding. 

Once you know what they need, you need to be honest with yourself. Can you meet all of these needs without sacrificing your own wellbeing? It’s common to assume you’ll figure out how to manage the burden later, but that approach will likely end in burnout and frustration. 

Caretaking can be too much for even the most loving and compassionate children. Despite your best intentions, it’s important to understand your real-world limitations. Also, remember that caretaking needs are fluid and subject to change. If you’re initially up to the challenge, have plans to accommodate potential future needs as they evolve.

Consider the following advice:

How to Prepare Your Home for Aging Parents

how to prepare house for elderly parent

Once you’re mentally prepared to move elderly parents into your home, it’s time to start preparing your space. Accommodating an extra person long-term will likely require some adaptations. 

Here’s our checklist for moving elderly parents into your space:

1. Elder-proof the home for safety.

It’s common to baby-proof a house before a baby is born. The same concept applies here. Elder-proofing your home is the safest way to ensure your parent can move around your space without hurting themselves or others.

Use this checklist to elder-proof your home:

2. Prioritize everyone’s privacy.

Moving a parent into your home means you’ll share common areas unless you have an in-law suite. Regardless of the home’s size, it’s important to make sure that you and your parents each have a place of your own. Don’t be afraid to set house rules for elderly parents to help everyone feel respected and appreciated. 

As much as possible, aim to give your parent any autonomy they can manage. Even if they need care, the more independence they can maintain, the longer they will be able to thrive. If you take over all responsibilities immediately, your parents’ mental and physical health may deteriorate more quickly, and you’ll be more likely to burn out.

Here are some ways to foster independence for parents in a small space:

When moving elderly parents into your home, honesty and preparation are key. Give yourself and your family ample time to prepare your home, move excess items to an affordable storage unit, and make financial plans. We hope you can develop a plan that works for both you and your parents. Good luck!


Editor’s Note: Originally published on January 19th, 2021, and was revised on July 19th, 2023 with more information.

About the Authors

Alexa Nizam

Alexa Nizam is a professional writer with five years of experience writing for B2B, B2C, and lifestyle publications. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from The University of Texas at Austin (hook ‘em!). Alexa’s writing business has been featured in Business Insider, and her work appears in blogs for Buffer, Lemonlight, and The Momentum. When she’s not sitting in LA traffic, you can find her at the beach, drinking coffee, or drinking coffee at the beach.

Lauren Thomann

Lauren Thomann has written about self storage and moving since 2015, making her our storage expert. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and Linguistics and has published over 150 articles on moving, storage, and home organization. She is also a contributing writer at and Martha Stewart.

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