Senior Care: Should You Move Closer?
Article submitted by Sharon Wagner
Your parents took care of you when you were younger, but you may need to care for them as they age. If you live in a different city or state but have started to recognize that your favorite senior needs local help, perhaps it is time to consider moving closer. To help you determine the best next steps, HopeWorks would like to share some tips and resources to guide you through the process.
Signs That You Need To Live Closer to a Senior Loved One
Your loved one’s health and safety are essential, but sometimes they do not realize they need help. Pay attention to these potential warning signs so you can step in when needed. Things to look for include:
Significant memory loss
Weight loss or other major changes in appearance
Changes in daily routines
Drastic mood swings
Trouble operating a vehicle
Forgetting to take medications
Other warning signs may not necessarily fit into those categories. For example, other red flags include your parents not paying their bills or lack of interaction with others like they used to.
Decide Who Should Move
If you need to be closer to one another, someone needs to move. You may have reasons that prevent you from moving, such as your job or your children’s involvement in your local schools and community. If that is the case, it may be better for your loved one to move closer to you.
On the other hand, your parent may live on a property that has been in the family for generations, and they may not want to move away. If this is the case, you might need to move to be with them. Each family’s circumstances dictate which option is best.
If you decide that your loved one’s living situation needs to change, getting him or her to agree to move closer can be challenging. The conversation is more likely to be effective if you ease into the subject by discussing options to make life easier. This includes discussions with other members of the family. Remember, everyone must look at the big picture and what is best for your senior loved one.
What to Do with Their Property
If your senior loved one is considering selling their property, there are a few things to keep in mind. They will need to decide how much they want to sell the property for, as well as how much they are willing to negotiate. They will also need to factor in the cost of hiring a real estate agent and any necessary repairs or improvements that need to be made before putting the property on the market.
If they decide to rent out their property instead, they will need to find responsible tenants and put together a lease agreement. They will also need to be prepared to manage any maintenance or repair issues that come up. This sort of scenario could be helpful, but most likely they will need to work with a property management company or qualified family member.
Make the Moving Process Smooth
Regardless of who moves, the process is stressful. Here are some suggestions to make it go more smoothly:
Create a checklist to help you prioritize your tasks, and include timelines. By taking it one step at a time, you can limit the overwhelm.
Get rid of unnecessary belongings; offer to family and friends, make donations to a local thrift store, have a yard sale or estate sale.
Arrange for packing and moving assistance from friends, family, or professional local movers.
Allow enough time to pack and find a home; do not wait until the last minute to do necessary tasks.
Connect Them to Services
If your loved one will live alone after the move, they might find it difficult to oversee all the necessary tasks to maintain their new home. Even if you live close to your senior family members, you may be unable to help with everything they need. For example, if they have gutters that need cleaning or their roof has issues, you will need to help them connect with a service that can provide the necessary labor to deal with maintenance and repairs.
Effective long-distance caregiving is challenging. When you notice warning signs that your loved one is having trouble, you will have to decide whether moving closer is the best solution. Carefully determine what your loved one needs, then have an honest conversation with them. Together, you can plan the next chapter of their life so your loved one can age in place in their new home in comfort