Elderly parents moving in (2023)

lingwood Forumite Posts: 120 Forumite

17 February 2010 at 10:57PM in


We have been considering my parents moving in with us to help them out in their old age and some illnesses.

We are both in our early thirties, no children, but my parents are older than average (Father 81 and mother 78).

We have the space to accommodate them and I think (at this stage) it will help them to know they have some more company.

Main question they have discussed is the house and after it is sold.

Currently they have their will set as tenants in common, so the first one to pass away 50% of the house passes to me (as their only child).

They are concerned about loosing the house to pass on (they worked hard for it)

So if they sell up and have £XXX in the bank or pass on to us, what happens if one or both needs to go in to home or more care?

Any advise please

  • savingmummy Forumite Posts: 2,915

    Elderly parents moving in (3)


    17 February 2010 at 11:41PM

    Most people use their assets for their care so i would of thought it would be best if they were to sell to keep the assets from the sale in an account.

    I`m basing this on my personal experience, so maybe others have different views. If they have worked hard for their asset then they are entitled to use it to be well cared for.

    DebtFree FEB 2010!

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  • Not sure which house you're talking about - the house parents live in now but are thinking of moving out of, or your house?

    If they're moving out of their own house then they won't need it any more, will they, even though they worked hard for it?

    We ALL worked hard for what we own now. As my DH is fond of saying - so what??

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Æ[/FONT]r ic wisdom funde, [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]æ[/FONT]r wear[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]ð[/FONT] ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.

  • Pee Forumite Posts: 3,826 Forumite

    18 February 2010 at 11:52AM

    Are you sure that them moving in with you and your OH will work? I guess this really depends on the personalities involved and also what your house is like. I know I wouldn't want to look after my parents in the same house and as much as I loved my ex father in law and the feeling was really mutual it wouldn't have worked for him to have moved into my house - because of stairs, lack of buses etc - or for me to have moved into his - inadequate sound proofing.

    It might make more sense for you to buy a house together, which would also benefit you in the long run should they require long term care. It would however cause lots more problems if the living together did not work out, if you and your OH split up, if your parents split up - probably a bit less likely that one - or if after one of your parents died the other wished to remarry.

    There are a lot of issues to be considered here. It is probably the case that if you do take them in, you will earn every penny of the saved care costs and they would probably be justified in expecting to end their days at home with you, which could be in 20 years time and involve illnesses which affect their personalities.

    You should also think about whether you plan to have children in the future or indeed have them now and how the decsion will impact on them. I'd have loved to have my grandparents live with me as a child and teenager, another friend has nothing but bad memories of six months of her grandfather as a teenager.

    There is a lot to think about and discuss before you find the best way forward for you all.

  • margaretclare Forumite Posts: 10,789 Forumite

    18 February 2010 at 11:58AM

    My late MIL moved in with us, my first husband and me, back in the mid-1970s. She sold her house in Eastbourne. We didn't know at the time but MIL was developing Alzheimer's, a word you never used to hear then.

    It was a total disaster. I would never advise it for anyone else. As Pee says above, there are a lot of things to think about.

    IMHO the only way this kind of thing would work is if there is space to make a 'granny flat' where both families can live independently and separately, own kitchen, bathroom etc and preferably, own front door.

    In the end we used the proceeds from the sale of the Eastbourne house to fund MIL's long-term residential care.

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Æ[/FONT]r ic wisdom funde, [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]æ[/FONT]r wear[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]ð[/FONT] ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.

  • teachmech Forumite Posts: 11

    Elderly parents moving in (8)Elderly parents moving in (9)


    18 February 2010 at 12:16PM

    Myself, my wife and tennage daughter bought a house with my parents last may. My mum has MS and is housebound in a wheel chair. We all pay towards mortgage and running costs ect. and have converted rooms downstairs for wheel chair use. Its working so far but there has been a few stressful times between my wife and parents.

    However we now have a beautiful has in a National park that individually neither could have affoarded. Plus when/if needed my parents won't have to lose their house to pay for care.

  • paddy's_mum Forumite Posts: 3,977

    Elderly parents moving in (11)


    18 February 2010 at 1:24PM

    What you are proposing is fraught with danger!

    Once living in your house, who gets to give up their job or their way of life or their sanity in order to be the carer for perhaps two people who have mind or personality altering illness? Have you got what it takes to keep perhaps a bedridden mother well and comfortable while simultaneously trying to prevent a senile father from wandering off into sub-zero temperatures in just his pyjamas?

    I've never done it myself but I have seen countless families stressed to breaking point by the demands of caring for elderly parents.

    I don't think who-gets-what-from-whom-and-when comes into it, neither from your perspective or from theirs. Inheritance is irrelevant at this point. What you need to do is find out what might be the pitfalls and how best to offer your support without destroying your own right to a happy marriage and basic freedom to live your life by your needs, not those of your parents.

    Perhaps re-post asking for 'People's experiences of caring for elderly parents, please?' may get you some illuminating answers and be of genuine help in deciding which way to go. Do your parents actively want to give up their marital home to move in with you or is it being seen as the lesser of two evils?

  • Mojisola Forumite Posts: 35,434

    Elderly parents moving in (13)Elderly parents moving in (14)Elderly parents moving in (15)


    18 February 2010 at 1:40PM

    It's potentially a very rewarding experience and potentially a nightmare! Only you will know if all the people involved are likely to get on. Does your present house have enough room to give them their own sitting room - with such a big age gap both couples will probably want their own space to watch the TV programmes they like, listen to their favourite music, etc.

    It could be that moving to a bigger house will be the best answer so that they can put some of their money into the new purchase and pay for adaptions they will need. That will release money for them to use in their daily lives. If you and your OH are both out all day at work, they may need someone to come in and make sure they are all right, or to take them out and about. As they get older, these needs are likely to increase.

    If one of them needs to go into care and the other continues to live at home, then the value of their home would not be taken into account, whether they live with you or on their own. The cash they have freed up from the sale of their house would be counted. However, having some of their money available would allow more choice when looking at a care home. Try visiting a few of your local ones and see whether you would be happy with your parents going into the more basic ones.

    Only a small percentage of older people need care so there's a good chance that they won't need to go into a home.

  • lingwood Forumite Posts: 120 Forumite

    18 February 2010 at 10:31PM

    Mojisola wrote: »

    Only a small percentage of older people need care so there's a good chance that they won't need to go into a home.

    Like many of the insurances you are told you need or they try to sell you ref mortgaes,, only a small % of people ever claim off them.

    I flash in thought to try and help out, but the above coments give a very good reality check.


  • pusscat Forumite Posts: 386 Forumite

    19 February 2010 at 10:04AM

    My Elderley MIL lives a few doors away from us....it is a much better solution all round for us.

    3 things need to be said very very clearly here....

    1) Having parents live with you is in no way the same as having them to stay or visiting. I grew up with both my Grandmas living in a granny flat at various points in my formative years so knew (sort of!) what to expect. The biggest danger is taking away independence...as soon as they don't have to do someting then they are inclined to stop doing it, then the days become long and they deteriorate pretty quickly. The whole thing takes a LOT of thinking about, from both sides. In general, sharing a house creates the biggest problems, a granny flat or a bungalow in the garden/next door/down the street is a far better idea.

    2) However you work it out you are going to need proper financial and legal advice. The whole area is a complex minefield. You need to make sure that you are not involved in "deprivation of assets". There are some totally legal measures you can take to protect what they have, but these need to be taken well in advance of any potential care being required. You need to see a Financial adviser with a CF8 qualification. You also need to be aware of the IHT rules and how they potentially affect you in your particular situation.

    IHT rules are 7 years for "gifts". However you must make a gift without reservation so they cannot "give" you some money towards your mortgage and then live in your house for free - they are still getting benefit from the "gift".
    Potentially they could pay you a market rent, but this starts to get very very complex.

    I would suspect (but am no expert) at your parents ages that ANY large financial transactions that happen now would come under scrutiny from the Local Authority as potentially being DoA. The rules also allow the LA to unwind transactions done in the 6 months prior to an application for funding (so if you have given your home away to your children to avoid paying, you can be made to unwind that thansaction) and they are also able to go back as far as they like to investigate any potential DoA inthe past. The definition of a DoA is pretty loose and the LA's have interpret individual circumstances to decide if what has happened has been done to avoid paying.

    3) If your parents need care (that is not solely medical related) and they have assets of above about £23,000 each (that includes all savings, investments etc) then they are going to have to pay for it. The state system is designed to pick up the pieces when an elderley person has nothing and no one to help (or very little). It is not designed make taxpayers subsidise peoples inheritance.


    Some good advice here too


    Think very carefully - it is not a decision to be taken lightly from either side. If you do decide to do it, then make sure you keep an exit strategy incase things don't work out as you planned. I know of friends who sold Grannys house and used that money and their own to buy a much bigger house for them all to share. The relationships have fallen apart (both with Granny and with each other as living together is pretty hard) and the property price has fallen substantially. They did not draw it up properly on a legal basis, they cannot afford to sell and all walk away with enough for each to set up again they are all stewing in the same house and starting to hate each other!

    It is easy to think it will all work out - but you also need to fianncially and legally plan for if it does not.


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