An increasing number of adults -- 10 million of whom are over the age of 50 themselves -- are caring for aging parents and grandparents these days. It can be hard emotionally, physically and financially. One way to help alleviate the difficulties is for the parent to move in with the children's family. But this can create a whole other set of problems caused by being too close together: lack of privacy, friction, loss of independence, etc. How can you have the best of both worlds, then? 

Here are 3 ways you can care for your aging parents in your home while reducing those stresses that come from living together. 

An In-Law Suite

A so-called "in-law suite" may be the simplest way to adjust your home to provide more privacy for both the caregivers and the elderly family member. It is a separate area in your home that is self-sufficient but still connected. In-law suites generally have a kitchenette (lacking a full range) and either a 3/4 bath or a full bath. They don't require an outside entrance, although you may choose to add one. This compromise situation is smaller and less complicated than a full apartment and may be easier to acquire a permit to build. An in-law suite can be formed out of unused rooms (such as a guest room or a formal dining room) or even by enclosing a patio or deck -- thus saving money on the remodel.

An Apartment

Adding an apartment to your home or property is a more expensive endeavor, but it may bring a better return on investment. A fully-functional apartment with a complete kitchen, bath and separate outside entrance can be rented to outside parties and is likely to add to the value for future home buyers when you leave. Before deciding to add an apartment, be sure to check with your local planning and zoning agency to see if it's even allowed. 

A Duplex

If your home simply won't accommodate a separate living area for Mom -- or if your budget won't allow an extensive remodel -- you might consider moving to a home that already has a separate apartment. Essentially, this is what an owner-occupied duplex is: a single home that consists of two side-by-side townhomes or apartments with 2 or 3 bedrooms and full amenities. In a duplex, you can live comfortably and privately in your own space, and so can your family member. But you're only steps away from each other for caregiving purposes. There is only one structure to maintain and when your family no longer needs it, a duplex could be a great rental investment property. 

No matter what type of home alteration fits your lifestyle and budget, you can find a way that ensures the safety and health of both yourself and your aging parents. For more information about home remodeling, visit or a similar website.