Going Home: When Is It Time to Move Closer to Aging Loved Ones?
When an aging loved one lives far away from you, it can be difficult to monitor their health and wellbeing. At some point, you might decide you want to move closer to them, and ensure their needs are taken care of. To make this a smooth process, conduct your due diligence and get your finances in order. Varma Realty Group can help make the transition easier.
1. When Is It Time?
Many seniors have a fierce independent streak, and as such, may downplay their needs, fearing it might mean an end to autonomous living. However, staying in touch on a regular basis and asking to consult with primary care providers can give you a better idea of your loved one’s changing needs. Can they still perform the activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, and feeding themselves nutritious meals? Can they manage their own medication? Have they fallen or injured themselves recently? Keeping pace with changing needs can help you determine when more help is warranted.
2. Have “the Talk”
Your loved one may look forward to you moving closer to them, or they may feel they’re losing their independence. According to Aging Care, have open and honest conversations and handle your loved one’s concerns with kindness and compassion. If there’s not an immediate need for hands-on assistance, you might be able to provide supplemental long-distance care by hiring a personal aid or in-home nurse, pay for meal delivery service or housekeeping – anything that might allow your loved one to safely live on their own for as long as possible.
3. Making the Move
If you decide to relocate, you’ll want to time the sale of your current home and the purchase of a new one to coincide, so you aren’t stuck in transitional housing. A knowledgeable real estate agent and a lender can help. You’ll want to get preapproved for a mortgage before you start looking at new homes. This process allows you to evaluate your finances, your credit, and your cash resources and will help you decide how much you can spend. Being preapproved for a loan positions you to move quickly once the perfect home opens up.
4. Discussing Next Steps
If your loved one reaches a point where they can no longer safely live on their own, even with your assistance and outside help, it might be time to discuss long-term care options, like assisted living. There are numerous price points to consider, and you’ll want to ensure your loved one is safe, comfortable, and cared for in their new environment. According to Caring.com, you can research facilities online, take in-person or virtual tours, and potentially even allow your loved one to stay at a facility on a short-term trial period as a form of respite care. Ask about staff-to-patient ratios, socialization opportunities, and the specific types of care each facility specializes in providing.
5. Paying for Care
If savings, Medicaid or Medicare, or long-term care insurance don’t cover the costs of assisted living, you might consider helping your loved one liquidate assets to cover their new living environment. Assisted living costs vary, and many facilities are tiered, ranging from semi-independent living to skilled nursing care options, all with different price points. A real estate professional can assess the current market and help you decide the best time to sell. It can be helpful to have a power of attorney designation from your loved one to help make decisions on their behalf.
While it’s never easy to see loved ones decline in health, moving closer to them and helping them through this transitional time of life is a kind and loving act. Keep communication channels open, plan your steps carefully, and rest assured in your newfound peace of mind.