5 Ways to Help Seniors Put Together The Pieces of a Downsizing Move
For many seniors, transitioning into their golden years means moving into a different home. That home could be a smaller house or even an assisted living community, but either way, many older adults can benefit from the help of family caregivers. So, if your senior parent or loved one is planning a major move, here are some ways you can make it easier.
Consider Assisted Living or Independent Living
Sometimes, a senior loved one may be moving because of a need for extra care. In these situations, it’s vital for family caregivers to weigh assisted and independent living options. With assisted living, your loved one will have help with routine activities such as dressing and managing medications, while independent living centers tend to focus more on providing seniors with a communal living environment that offers extra services. You may also need to consider whether other long-term care options are more appropriate for your loved one.
Think About Alzheimer’s or Dementia Needs
As you help your loved one downsize into a new home, you should be mindful of any limiting health conditions or major life events connected to the move. This especially pertains to loved ones who are dealing with Alzheimer’s and grief. It can take more time for these seniors to move on and begin to handle other major tasks, such as finding a new home, sorting through belongings and managing all of the details involved with a major move. You may also need to assist with the transition to nursing home care, which is common for seniors with Alzheimer’s.
Find Pros Who Work with Seniors
If you have a full-time job or other responsibilities, you may not be able to dedicate a lot of time to helping your loved one find that perfect home and get moved into it. To make sure your elderly loved one gets the assistance they require, you can always hire professionals to help. You can hire a senior move manager to help organize a senior’s transition from start to finish, including decluttering. For less involved help, you can also find a local SRES realtor, who has been certified to work with seniors and to meet their unique home needs, for your loved one.
Obtain a Financial Power of Attorney for Loved Ones
This is something many caregivers forget to address but if you are assisting a loved one with Alzheimer’s or any other limiting condition, you may need to have the ability to make financial or health decisions for that person. For that, you need a power of attorney that will cover both areas, and allow you to help your senior loved one manage their mortgage, as well as other related finances, as well as their healthcare. A power of attorney can also be useful when seniors need to buy or refinance a home, or if caregivers need to sell that home in order to cover the costs of assisted living or other long-term care.
Help a Senior Loved One with Other Downsizing Tasks
Now that you’ve covered some of the heavier aspects of helping a senior downsize, you can focus on the more mundane tasks. Still, those seemingly simple tasks, such as decluttering, can be rather emotional for seniors. To older loved ones, the belongings in their home are so much more than just “things”; they are the remnants of the memories that have made up their life. So try to understand this and be patient as you sort through a senior’s household goods. You should also check that any pets will be safe in your loved one’s new home.
This is a major life transition for your loved one, and it can be emotional for you as well. With your guidance and help, however, this can be a positive move for all. You just need to stay focused on the important tasks, deal with whatever emotions come up, and keep the best interest of both your loved one and yourself in mind.