Many times families are forced to make a decision about moving an elder loved one when there is a crisis, such as a debilitating illness. Here are five tips on helping them make that transition.
1. Your loved one may be reluctant to move—ease some of their apprehension by making the decision with them, not for them. Help them understand why the decision is in their best interest, for reasons of safety, health, and/or continuous care.
2. Ask what photos and special items they want to take to their new home. Then find out which other items they would like to have a friend or family member take care of for them. They will feel reassured to know that their beloved items are in good hands.
3. Do not think you have to bring your loved one to your own home unless you are well-prepared to take on that responsibility. Often family members will do this out of guilt and do not realize the full scope of care that will be needed. Know that this will be an emotional decision, but keep your loved one’s interest first and foremost, not yours. Consider what level of care they need now, and what level of care they will need as their life progresses and their health situation changes. Placing them in a continuing care facility could preempt making multiple moves.
4. Rely on others who are trained to help you with the process. If your loved one is currently in a hospital, there is likely a trained staff member to help you with the move to a senior living facility, including financial assistance.
You can also find assistance through your local government. Just do an Internet search for “aging person (or senior citizen) services in ______ (name of your city or county).”
5. Do not hastily transfer financial holdings to a relative or friend to help your loved one qualify for financial assistance, such as Medicaid. There is a two-year look-back period for such transfers. Instead, talk to an expert:
- Consult with a Senior Real Estate Specialist® (SRES). Find one at seniorsrealestate.com/find-sres for real estate needs. They have specialized training to help you.
- Consult an attorney who specializes in elder law.
This story was written by Carolyn Frazeur as part of a content partnership with CENTURY 21® Real Estate.