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​When a Parent Moves In…and How Décor Can Help


Not everyone has a mother-in-law suite or a guest house for a parent when they become ill or can no longer live by themselves. Instead, a parent often must move into a bedroom of the house. This can be disruptive, and while their adult children try to practice patience and compassion, it can strain the household. Likewise, the parent may feel like an unwanted intruder. There are two extreme scenarios that can develop in this situation:

1. A parent is isolated to one room of the house: A parent may have all of their belongings crammed into one room in an attempt to create a studio apartment. All of their belongings become stacked and crammed into a small area in an attempt to maintain the parent’s identity. These rooms are often decorated similarly to the parent’s home, which is typically a stark difference from the rest of the household.

2. A parent takes over the house: Unfortunately, there is another end to the spectrum of a parent moving in. It can be akin to hoarding. This situation is where a parent does not downsize and finds a way to fit their entire house inside their child’s home. It makes everyone uncomfortable, and children often feel like they’ve lost control of their dwelling.

Finding Solutions through Décor

Neither isolation nor complete takeover is a good situation for a family who does not have the means to provide their parent with an onsite separate dwelling, but there are ways to make the situation positive. Especially in the case of parents moving into their child and grandchildren’s home, fully integrating a parent can provide excellent benefits to the relationship between a grandparent and their grandchild. This has to do with décor because people don’t want to lose control over their home, but their parents want to feel like they have a home.

Purchasing a few pieces of décor together can unite a family that is struggling with boundaries. For example, a wind chime for the front porch picked out by the entire family, including the grandparent, can bring joy to everyone in the house each time they enter. It can be a symbol of unification and dissolve the barriers that develop between what is ‘yours’ and ‘theirs.’

Every family has a different dynamic, and if a parent moves in, it may be a harmonious event. However, when it’s not, it’s better to find solutions rather than let it fester, and home décor is one way it can all work out. 

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