It is widely acknowledged that moving house is among the most stressful experiences in life.
When we are older, this already daunting life event can simply become too much to contemplate and it becomes overwhelming to the point this becomes a reason to delay or defer a move.
Moving home may come under consideration for many reasons:
- health conditions
- changes in mobility
- changes in the surrounding community
- changes in family circumstances
There are many good reasons to move:
- To be nearer to family
- to have a smaller more manageable home
- for financial consideration
- a healthier environment
- to combat loneliness and isolation
- to access support and care
It can be a difficult moment when you come to realize that your dad or mum may need senior care in a setting like assisted living. Just as our parents kept us safe, sheltered and secure when we needed it – there comes a time when we’re called upon to return this same love to our parents.
Steps to Take When Your Parents Need to Move
Some of us will provide care to our parents in our own home for a period, but this is not always possible for all families, or always desired by the children or parents themselves. Many families find themselves searching for assisted living, an intermediate level of residential care for seniors who aren’t safe living alone.
Ideally, your parents can be full participants in the search, but when your loved one is impaired by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, you may have to proactively take more control of the decision making.
If you see that your parents need assisted living care, here are some steps that can help you find them the right care:
1. Get Your Loved One Involved
The more involved your parents are in the search, the better. Of course you can do much of the legwork for them, but have discussions with your parents about their desires and preferences and, ideally, present them with a range of options. A good place to start is www.eldernet.co.nz, with lists available and vacancies updated daily.
2. Determine What You Can Afford
Like it or not, money is going to be a factor in most families’ searches. Look at what your family can afford on a monthly basis. Look into veteran’s benefits and other ways to pay for care.
3. Visit a Range of Options
No amount of time viewing photos, brochures, floor plans or reviews can substitute for an in-person visit to a community. Schedule visits for you and your parent at a minimum of three options on your short-list. Perform follow-up tours, perhaps even unannounced, to get a good sense for the community you and your parent are considering.
4. Come to a Decision
Whether your parent is choosing the community themselves, or whether you need to make that decision for parents impaired by Alzheimer’s or dementia, try to make sure that everyone in your family feels good about the choice. When possible, have conversations with your parents discussing the pros and cons of each option and try to find consensus about the right option.
5. Make the Move
If you’ve come this far in the process, there’s no sense in delaying the move. It’s risky to procrastinate when a parent needs care, as the delay can lead to avoidable accidents and medical problems.