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Is living with loved ones a good choice for your family?

For a lot of parents across the country, achieving the proverbial "empty nest" is a long awaited goal. When it happens, most are excited because this opens doors to more freedom. Finally, you're able to do all those projects and go on all those trips you always wanted to take but weren't able to.

But if you're like a lot of our Melbourne, you may be at the age where you need to start considering long-term care. Maybe you have the money set aside to pay for it. Maybe you don't. Or maybe you have concerns about whether a nursing home is really the right choice for you. Either way, it may have you thinking about your future and perhaps even wondering how important that "empty nest" is to your own children.

Long-term care can be expensive depending on which route you choose. If you choose in-home care over a traditional nursing home, you could pay more in the long run. For those who have not planned for their long-term care, neither of these is an option, which forces them to consider living with their loved ones instead. If you're in a situation similar to this, then you might also be asking an important question: is living with loved ones a good choice for your family?

There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to living with loved ones versus more traditional elderly living arrangements. The first thing to consider is how your family will react when you approach the topic. Will they have reservations or will they take you in with open arms? The next thing to consider is finances. Will you be able to contribute financially to offset an added person? And finally, you should consider if you will have access to the health care you need when you need it. What happens if you fall and no one is home to assist you?

Though these are not the only things to consider, some may consider them to be the most important and they could influence your decision to live with family versus a traditional elderly living arrangement down the road. Having this discussion with your loved ones is incredibly important and may be worth discussing with a lawyer as well, just in case.

Source: AARP, "The Unexpected Joys of Caregiving," Paula Spencer Scott, November 2014

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