What It Takes When Mom or Dad Moves In

When considering bringing an elderly parent into your home, there are more things to consider than just space. Caring for another person takes time, patience, physical and mental strength, and support from other family members and friends. This article from the Washington Post raises many good points that should be thought through when moving an elderly parent into your home.

Specifically, think about the community you live in—if your parent can no longer drive himself or herself, can he or she walk to the store, a salon, or a friend’s house? Will he or she be out of touch with a social network because of the move?

To start an initial assessment, here are some simple questions to ask about the senior’s abilities:


  • Can the senior take care of all shopping independently?
  • Can the senior only make small purchases independently?
  • Does the senior need to be accompanied on shopping trips?
  • Is the senior completely unable to shop?


  • Can the senior plan, prepare and serve meals?
  • Can the senior prepare meals if given the ingredients?
  • Can the senior heat and serve prepared meals?
  • Does the senior need to have meals prepared and served?

Housekeeping & Laundry:

  • Does the senior maintain the house independently?
  • Can the senior only perform light chores, like bed making and dishwashing?
  • Does the senior need help with all home maintenance tasks?
  • Does the senior do personal laundry completely?
  • Does the senior only launder small items?
  • Does the senior need all laundry done for him or her?

Some other areas in which seniors may need assistance include medication and finances. If you need help determining a senior’s home care needs, contact Visiting Angels in Alameda County at (510) 284-0000 or in Santa Clara County at (408) 735-0977.