Making Space for an Elderly Parent

Making Space for an Elderly Parent

As our loved ones age, they often need additional support. For some, this may mean transitioning to a retirement or nursing home, but for others, it may mean moving in with a family member who’s able to provide a space for them to live and receive necessary care.

If you find yourself in the position to welcome an aging loved one, such as an elderly parent, into your home, you’ll need to make sure your home is comfortable and safe. We’ve put together some considerations below and provided information on our Home Equity Line of Credit, or HELOC, which can be a flexible way to finance any changes you need to make to your space to welcome your loved one.

Designating a Living Space

The first thing you’ll need to determine is what living space you’ll dedicate to your parent. Depending on your home’s layout, the personal preferences and needs of both you and your parent, and your finances, it could be as simple as clearing out a spare bedroom or as involved as finishing a basement or adding an in-law suite.


Once you’ve determined what space will serve as your parent’s main living quarters, you’ll want to check to make sure any work you do is in line with local regulations or codes.

If you’re considering an addition, work with a reputable builder to ensure everything is in order.

If you’re looking to finish a basement and convert it into living space, you’ll want to check with your local township to determine what regulations or codes you’ll need to follow. For instance, some localities require a second, specific means of egress (other than the main door to the basement) if you’re planning on adding a bedroom to your basement.

Considering Immediate and Long-Term Needs

If you’re planning to have your parent live with you for several years, you’ll want to make sure the living space you choose is going to meet their needs and be accessible for them both now and in the long term.

Factors to consider include:

  • Location of living space – If you’re choosing to have a parent move into an existing bedroom, consider its location. If it’s not on the main floor of your home, it may not be the best choice for long-term living for your aging parent, as they may one day need or prefer to avoid going up and down stairs multiple times a day.In addition to making sure the bedroom is accessible, you’ll want to make sure a full bathroom and kitchen is available to them on the main floor, as well.
  • Handicap accessibility – If your parent is in a wheelchair or uses a walker, you’ll need to ensure they can safely and comfortably move around your home. Things to consider include ramps to the front door instead of, or in addition to, steps; wider doorways; and furniture and countertops that are easily accessible for them. You may also need to modify bathrooms to add things like grab bars or shower seats.

Dealing with “Stuff”

If your parent is moving in with you, they’ll likely have more belongings than can fit in their new space, especially if they’re moving out of a long-term family home. You’ll want to determine what items are moving in with them and whether you’ll need to include storage space as a component in the modifications you’re making to your home.

Additionally, you’ll need to inventory what furniture you have available and what furniture your parent is able to bring along to determine if there’s anything you need to purchase before the move. You’ll want to make sure they’ll have pieces that will meet their needs and fit in their designated space.

Financing These Changes with a HELOC

You may be wondering how you’ll pay for the necessary modifications to make your home a comfortable and safe place for your parent. One popular product to consider is a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC).

A HELOC allows you to put the value of your home to work for you. The loan is secured by the equity you’ve built in your home through your down payment, mortgage payments, or work that has increased your home’s value.

One big perk of a HELOC is that it’s a flexible loan that allows you to only borrow what you need, when you need it, rather than taking out a large lump sum loan that may cause you to borrow (and pay back) more than is necessary.

At PSECU, our HELOC has a minimum line of credit of $5,000, and you can borrow up to 90% of the appraised value (80% for rental properties) of your home, less any liens on the property being mortgaged.

With our HELOC, you can draw money from the line of credit for a set 10-year period (five years for rental properties), and then you have a 20-year repayment term (10-year for rental properties) from the date of the last draw to repay the loan.

Learn More About a PSECU HELOC Today

Whether it’s something as small as painting and redecorating an existing bedroom and bathroom or as complex as adding on a handicap-accessible in-law suite, moving an elderly parent into your home can come with a hefty price tag. Cross worrying about financing these changes off your to-do list and tap into your home’s value with a HELOC from PSECU. To get started, visit our HELOC page.

The content provided in this publication is for informational purposes only. Nothing stated is to be construed as financial or legal advice. Some products not offered by PSECU. PSECU does not endorse any third parties, including, but not limited to, referenced individuals, companies, organizations, products, blogs, or websites. PSECU does not warrant any advice provided by third parties. PSECU does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided by third parties. PSECU recommends that you seek the advice of a qualified financial, tax, legal, or other professional if you have questions.