Father-in-law moving in with us

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
My lovely 89 year old father-in-law will be moving in with us within the next few months.

We have thought long and hard about this, and feel this will be the best thing all round as he lives in another county from us and we are his only family now.

Our son and his fiance are living upstairs at the moment, using the two bedrooms and bathroom as their own living space, but sharing our kitchen. My husband and I live on the ground floor. They are now moving into their own place this month, so FiL will be able to move in once he has sold his house. We have decided to put in a tiny kitchen into his 'living room', so we will have his independence and we will have our privacy.

So far so good, but I am under no illusion that this will be plain sailing. I would be grateful for any advice from people who have done a similar thing. My FiL is fit and healthy at the moment and apart from being elderly, he can care for himself in all areas. I am aware that this may change at some point and is there anything we can do or put in place before he reaches that point? Many thanks, Louise.
As FIL is selling his own house, if he needs any care in the future, he will be classed as "self funding". If you have a mortgage, and his move in with you is to be permanent, I suggest you take specialist advice about FIL's legal position. If he became a joint owner of the house, it would reduce his liability to pay his care costs in the future, and ensure you received some inheritance for all the work you will be doing. Carers UK has a brilliant helpline, start by talking things through with them perhaps?
It will be easier to make adaptations to the bathroom before he moves in, think about a shower with disability aids either fitted, or the facility to add them at a later date.
Any advice?

Oh dear, it's simply 'Don't do it!'. Trouble is, it's SO easy to start caring, so hard hard hard to stop.

At least you know it won't be plain sailing (understatement!) but it will be much harder, I fear, than you imagine.

Almost all depends on the attitude of your FIL. You say he is not British (is that right?), so alas, probably that means his attitude is that 'women look after me, and the DIL looks after the FIL' etc etc. Maybe I'm wrong, and he's a wonderful, kindly, undemanding, unselfish, lovely lovely chap (and I sincerely hope he is!) and highly appreciative of you, and that would be fantastic. I do hope so! (My own father was wonderful with my SIL!)

Even if he is, though, as he ages, that may change. Please read around on the forum about the 'very elderly' who turn into 'elderly toddlers' and lose the ability to understand the impact of their care on their carers. They don't mean to be selfish and demanding, but they sadly often so become like that. Be warned.

Also, of course, you have to be prepared for declining health, increasing infirmity, both physical and, in a way, far far worse, mental. So what seems reasonable now, and for a year or two, may become impossible down the line.

You and your husband - and your FIL - will need clear 'Next Stage of Care' plans worked out for as and when him living with you becomes incrfedibly difficult/impossible.

I think, myself, one of the most 'dangerous' aspects is this. That by coming to live with you you will be giving your FIL 'what we would all want' - ie, to see out our days with our family. BUT, if he does subsequently need to be in a nursing home, say, then 'kicking him out' will hurt a lot lot more than if he'd never lived with you in the first place! You'll be ejecting him from 'heaven' to 'hell' so to speak.

Please, I know this sounds grim, but you must always understand the bleak reality of ageing, that people are living longer and longer, and so what you think may only be for a few years, could be for a decade or more! (One member here took on her mum when the mum was 89 - she lived to 100!).

You may hope that you can 'see your FIL out' at home, but people don't 'die for other people's convenience', and he may well go on far longer than you think he will.

So, overall, although there may be clear advantages all round, there are also grave risks to you - and even to him, and I would strongly say talk it all through with your husband, and as much as possible with your FIL.

And yes, definitely sort out all the financial implications of him moving in with you. They could be very serious for your future!
Thank you both for your thoughts. My FiL is British by the way. He has been widowed for about 20 years and cooks and cleans for himself without any help. But being 89 he is getting less robust of course.
He has lots of interests so hopefully we can find groups for him to join when he comes.
I do understand that the time may come when he becomes either physically or mentally ill and that may mean difficult times for all of us and may include him moving into a care home. We do intend to sort things out legally including LPA which we have all discussed together.
All we can do is be informed as possible and hope things work out I guess.
If his money is in a joint account with your husband, only HALF of it counts as dad's, when it comes to any financial assessment in the future. It also means that when he dies, that money automatically becomes your husband's, and not part of the estate AS LONG as it is done now, long before he needs any care. Also make sure things like the POA are done before dad ever moves in.
We may come over as very negative about your proposal, it's because so many people have ended up with the elderly relative, incontinent, with carers coming in and out of the home all the time. Or the relative stuck in bed upstairs with a constant stream of demands. If at all possible, try and make sure dad has his own entrance to his part of the property.
That's much more reassuring! I was simply worried that there might be different cultural assumptions that ended up with you being 'assumed' to be ready to give up your own time etc etc etc. (I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet whenever the government lordly states that we should be more like 'foreigners' etc who care for their elderly at home.....yes, all very well, but what that REALLY means is 'the WOMEN do the caring!!!!!' Bah)

Only thought - the upstairs situation might work for now, but as your dad ages, being downstairs might be better. Is there any chance of, say, moving your FIL in now, but preparing to sell up and find a new joint home where he can be downstairs and, ideally, as BB says, with a separate form of 'annexe' and its own entrance. That will give him more privacy and control over his life. If and as the time comes whether he needs professional careworkers, then their coming and going won't impact so much on you?

One member here has converted her garage to her 'flat', and her adult son lives in the house! I had a quote for a garage conversion (at the time for my MIL - now in a home with advanced dementia) that was roughly £25-30k which seems 'reasonable' given the price of housing near me! (I might still do it for my own old age!)