Should You Move to Care for Your Senior Loved One?
Advancing age or ill health has caught up with your loved one. They may now no longer be capable of caring for themselves. As their child or close relative, the onus is now on you to arrange for their care, rethink their living arrangement, and generally help plan for their future. Below, the Camden Law team, who are experienced in estate planning, offers experienced advice on critical moving and care-related decisions you may have to make for a senior loved one:
Take stock of their health
First, take a clear, objective look at their health. It may be difficult to do, but it’s important. You need to have a realistic estimate of the care they’ll need, and the amount of time and energy you’ll have to personally invest. Check whether they’re capable of independent-living tasks – like getting out of bed, taking medication, preparing meals, and socialization.
Evaluate your relationship
Next, examine the relationship you share. If you’re close and they’ve always been supportive, caring for them will be easier. Unfortunately, not all senior loved ones are tractable, and some may develop behavioral imbalances when faced with failing health and old age. If your senior loved one is toxic, then loving detachment may be necessary, says AgingCare.
Come up with suitable living options
Based on their health, personal needs, likes and dislikes, and your relationship, you have several options. First, you could have them move in with you if you have the time, space, energy, and will. Second, you could have them move close by (or move yourself and your family nearby) to care for them as necessary. Finally, you could look at assisted-living arrangements, such as hiring a dedicated home care worker or moving them to a senior home.
Consider the financial specifics of the move
Generally, having them move closer to you in their own home is the most convenient option. Whatever the moving arrangement, it has to be paid for. Have a conversation with your loved ones about their financial situation and if they can pay for the move in its entirety. Your family may be able to chip in, and there are always government assistance programs.
Getting preapproved for a mortgage is smart when you’ve decided to purchase a senior-friendly house. It gives you a firm estimate on the amount you can borrow, allowing you to find appropriate housing faster and make the move instantly without extra hassle.
Look for senior-appropriate housing and environment
Keep in mind that seniors have special needs, especially when they have health conditions. Some things to look for and think about are easy accessibility, wider door frames for wheelchairs, anti-skid bathrooms, ground-floor living spaces, and extra lighting. Your loved ones may also need easy access to hospitals and senior-friendly amenities in the neighborhood.
Make the moving process non-stressful
Moving is emotionally taxing for seniors – they may be attached to their house and all the memories there. Keep their mental state in mind and do everything you can to make the move easier, from helping pack and downsize to being there personally to oversee the move. Roping in experienced movers – the ones who display empathy for your loved one’s needs and possessions – may be worth the investment.
When hiring professional movers, qualified to transport larger pieces of furniture, be sure to evaluate the company by reading reviews for Angi furniture movers. Connect with multiple movers in your area to get quotes and discuss your (and your loved one’s) needs. Finally, be on the lookout for moving companies offering deals or credits when costs are a concern.
Plan for their declining condition
Eventually, your loved one may no longer be in a state to make health and treatment-related decisions. Furthermore, they may not be able to communicate their wishes regarding the distribution of their various assets. Estate planning gives you the power to make medical decisions on their behalf, and oversee the distribution of their estate after their demise.
Camden Law LLC offers tailored and compassionate estate planning services:
Setting up power of attorney
Creating a will and trust
Estate planning advice based on experience
Caregiving is going to be challenging. If you’re personally going to care for your loved one, it’s important to balance your own needs to prevent self-harm and avoid caregiver stress, reports OASH. Be realistic about what you can do and communicate openly and with your kindness about their needs and expectations for the best outcome for everyone.