The older we get, the more likely it is that we’ll need to find a different place to live. It’s a hard thing to even think about. It’s much harder when it involves your own parents. They’re very independent and want to make their own decisions, but when is it time to give them a little nudge?
Unfortunately, these decisions are often made during a time of stress, such as an illness, or death in the family. If your loved one is dealing with a serious illness, you should be concerned and if in-home care is not adequate to meet their needs, then a move is probably the next decisions that should be made.
Should You Move Your Elderly Parents Now?
When a loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, it’s more than likely that they’ll need assisted living. When their condition gets to the point where they forget to take their meds, or even eat, then they’ll have to have help. One caregiver I know said her dad fought for his independence until the end. It was hard on him to stay living alone, but he wouldn’t give it up. She had to spend every spare day off from work to drive hundreds of miles. If she didn’t fix his meals and leave plenty prepared, he just wouldn’t eat. They had to be something he could put in the microwave. He was afraid to use the stove. The last time he used it, he almost burned down the kitchen. She worried about him constantly. It was a strain on her whole family.
Many times the spouse of someone with dementia is the first to pass away. This is another time when moving is a necessity. Living alone with dementia and grief is just too much for anyone. The depression is compounded, and the dangers are just not worth chancing. Their ability to just tend to their personal needs are often too much for them, let alone the added responsibilities of maintaining a home single-handedly. As the disease progresses, wandering from home and getting lost becomes a big issue.
When Do You Talk To Your Family About Moving Your Elderly Parents?
Any of these scenarios makes it time to have a family talk. Do your best to have all your siblings present. Talk with each one and make sure they know exactly what the problems are that could literally take the life of your parent. This will be an emotional issue. If it’s the place where you all grew up, not everyone may be on-board with selling the home place, but try to keep the conversations centered on what is best for your loved one. My own parents put off selling their home because they knew how much I loved the place, as well as the feelings of their grandchildren. I do hate to see them sell, but I’m very proud they’re doing what’s best for them.
This is a time when you all need to pull together, and support your parents. Go to them as a whole family and tell them your concerns. If you’re loved one has dementia, you will most likely need an expert eldercare attorney. It may be the only way to get anything done.
This won’t be a onetime conversation. Chances are you’ll have to discuss this many times before the house goes up for sale. Be kind, listen carefully to your parent’s concerns, and do your homework. Senior home care experts are available to help you understand your parent’s needs and what is available in your own community. They can set up appointments to see assisted living communities, and retirement villages. There are lots of options in senior housing, so you will need the help of an expert.
It will be very helpful for you to meet with their doctor and have his, or her input. Older people often highly value a doctor’s opinion. Many policies will also pay for a geriatric care manager, or gerontologist. Their input and insights can also help you make this a more smooth transition. Don’t try to do everything yourself. You will become stressed. Reach out to experts and your family members to help you. Each person has something valuable to offer. Their contributions will be greatly appreciated by you and your older loved one.
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About The Author: Karen Everett Watson is a Gerontologist and has over 10 years experience as a Journalist. Karen has spent 4 years in the senior community interviewing retirement community residents and wrtites articles for SeniorCareHomes.com, a comprehensive Assisted Living online directory, trusted by seniors and families. SeniorCareHomes.com also provides free placement services to help Seniors and their families find assisted living based on the senior’s care needs, family’s budget and location.
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