We’re very happy to welcome guest writer Hazel Bridges, founder and principal of AgingWellness.org. She’s here to tell us about an uncertain time we who are caregiving for seniors might face – whether to relocate to care for our elder loved ones. Here’s Hazel….
Do you have a loved one or family member who is getting older and needs your help? Perhaps you live far away, but you feel it is time to move closer to them. Below, discover how you can begin the process of moving while working with your loved one to help them feel cared for every step of the way, brought to you by Patients Rising.
Talking With Your Loved One About Their Need for Help
It all starts with talking to your family member or loved one first. According to experts, there are a variety of issues to consider, such as how well your senior family member is able to manage their daily activities, if there are any present issues starting to show, such as dementia, or if their home is no longer safe.
Caregiving for seniors can be hard though, and it’s normal to expect resistance since many seniors are opposed to change. But they might enjoy you living nearby and having extra company.
Deciding To Live Together
Perhaps you believe the best thing for both parties would be living together in the same house. If that is the case, and you feel you are better off purchasing a new home, figure out what your finances look like first.
That’s because when you take out a mortgage, lenders will look at your debt-to-income ratio and figure out how much you can afford to pay every month. To find out what your ratio is, add up all of your monthly debt obligations and divide them by your gross monthly income.
Making the Move
If you were able to secure a mortgage and you both have a new home to live in, you’ll need to think about moving. While this is an exciting time, you might find it useful to minimize your possessions and get rid of things you don’t need to help downsize since you’ll be sharing a space with your loved one.
Another area to consider is hiring a furniture-mover who can handle large pieces of furniture. You can find local movers in your area, but make sure to get a quote first and let them know what your needs are. It’s helpful to read reviews online, so you can evaluate a company through the experiences of other people. If cost is an issue, consider researching moving companies that are offering deals or credits.
Finding Outside-Help To Be There When You Can’t
You’ll likely still have to work even after moving in with your family member. Consider looking for a caregiver who can help them with daily routines such as dressing, taking a shower, and even food shopping. Generally, this role can be filled by a “Home Health Aide”. Engaging a home health aide can free up time for you while providing peace of mind that your loved one is in good hands.
Considering the Move to Assisted Living or a Nursing Home
Depending on what types of issues your loved one is facing, they may need the help of professionals around-the-clock, either through assisted living or a nursing home. Tour different facilities and find out what they have to offer. Listen to your loved one’s requests and see if there is a solution they prefer. Even having you visit frequently can make a difference in how well they take to moving out of their home.
Caregiving for senior family members can be overwhelming – relocating, even more so. Make sure to have an open conversation with your loved ones and work together to find a solution that will make you both happy.
Hazel Bridges is the creator of Aging Wellness, a website that aims to provide health and wellness resources for aging seniors. She’s a breast cancer survivor. She challenges herself to live life to the fullest and inspires others to do so as well.