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Planning a Move to Care for a Senior Loved One

Caring for a senior loved one comes in many forms, from helping them remain social and active to assisting with daily tasks. If your loved one lives far away and can no longer care for themselves, it might be time to think about moving closer to ensure their safety and comfort. While it's a major life change, making a move will allow you to find out what your loved one's needs are so that you can better assist them, whether that means helping them downsize or find a nursing facility or home health provider.

If they can no longer maintain their home, or if you need help selling your own house prior to the move, work with a local real estate pro. Then come up with a plan for the move itself and for the care of your loved one in the coming months. Read on for more information, presented by Enjoying Aging.


Simplify The Moving Process – Research And Secure A Mortgage

With your loved one's needs on your mind–among other things–you don't want the move to pile onto your stress levels. The good news is, you can simplify the process quite a bit with a solid plan that includes doing some homework on the area you'll be moving to, figuring out where to find grocery stores, pharmacies, and gyms, and getting pre-approved for a home loan. This will not only give you peace of mind where your finances are concerned, but it will also allow you to make a quick purchase once you find the perfect home. Check your credit report and, if necessary, boost the score before applying for a loan by paying down debt and taking care of your bills on time.


Take A Look At Your Loved One's Living Situation

Once you have your own home taken care of, it's time to thoroughly check your loved one's living situation to find out whether their home is a healthy, safe space for them. Many seniors find that their homes become more and more challenging to maintain over the years, which can lead to leaks, damage, and dangerous mold. If you suspect your loved one's house needs repairs, look for local resources that can help at low or no cost, and talk to your loved one about making a move.

Age Space notes that not only is downsizing a great option for older adults who need less to take care of, but it can also help them save money and stay safe at the same time. One possibility is moving to a smaller space such as a rental home, condo, or apartment. There are plenty of options to choose from as it pertains to square footage, the age of the property, and the neighborhood. In fact, there are a number of different websites available that can help you find the perfect apartment for your needs and lifestyle.




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Another consideration is apartment communities that are designed specifically for seniors. These are often far more affordable options than an assisted living facility yet still provide many similar benefits. In some cases, they will even make exceptions that allow a younger family member to live with an aging parent to facilitate their care needs.


Staying In Place

Another option is to let your loved ones stay in the place they are most familiar with; their own home. If your intentions are to move to take care of them why make them move? In many cases, there is enough equity in their home to get them approved for a reverse mortgage. There is a lot of false information going around about this type of mortgage and while they are not the right choice for some, they can be the perfect solution for others.


Take Steps to Help Them Stay

If your loved one needs help with daily tasks and their home is still in good shape, there are a few things you can do to help it stay that way. Making modifications is an easy way to help a senior age in place, and you can also clean, declutter, and take care of the exterior of the home. Simple chores such as sealing up cracks around windows or clearing the downspout of debris can go a long way toward preparing the house for cold weather, as can cleaning the gutters to prevent water from backing up against the roof or foundation. It's important to hire a pro for the latter, as they can perform a cleaning safely and quickly while checking for potential issues.


Be An Advocate

One of the best things you can do for your senior loved one is to be an advocate for their rights and well-being, whether it's at a doctor's appointment or at an appointment to secure safe accommodations. The National Association of Realtors suggests familiarizing yourself with senior rights as they apply to fair housing and the code of ethics that realtors and landlords must abide by, which includes the inability to discriminate against an individual due to their race, sex, or disability, among other things.


Be A Negotiator

You might not think of yourself as a natural negotiator, but when it comes to advocating for a senior loved one, negotiating skills can come in handy. Whether you're dealing with a healthcare provider, an insurance company, or a retirement community, it's important to be able to make your case and get what you want. That's not always easy, but there are some things you can do to improve your chances of success. First, it's important to stay focused on your goal. Don't get sidetracked by other issues, and be prepared to walk away if you're not getting what you want. It's also helpful to know what the other side is likely to offer and to have a realistic idea of what you're willing to accept. By being prepared and staying calm, you'll be more likely to get the outcome you're hoping for.

In summary, lending your senior loved one a hand as it pertains to making a move may seem daunting, but by researching the new locality ahead of time, securing a mortgage, considering their living situation, and understanding future options, you both will be better equipped to execute your plan. Soon, they will be living comfortably in their new home to finish out their retirement years!

If you need tips and resources to help you age well, be sure to spend some time exploring the different content provided by Enjoying Aging.


A special thank you to Sharon Wagner at seniorfriendly.info for contributing this article.


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