Making a decision about whether assisted living is right for your loved ones is one of the hardest decisions we face today. Over the years I have worked with many adult children and their parents as they prepare to make the decision about when the parents should sell their family home.
I have learned that fully assessing the situation and communicating openly with your parents is the best way to begin. I advise my clients to go through the following questions as they weigh this difficult decision.
Is Your Parent Ready for Assisted Living?
Ask Yourself These Questions
- Is your parent telling you that he is eating, but you’re seeing food go bad in the refrigerator?
- Is your parent falling? To determine the answer, is your parent covering up bruises he or she doesn’t want you to see?
- Is your parent wearing the same clothes when you go to visit? Can they bathe themselves, groom adequately and launder clothes?
- When you look around the house or yard, is it as neat and clean as it used to be?
- Is your aging parent remembering to take medications correctly, with the right dosages and at the right time? Are medications expired?
- Are they able to operate appliances safely? Do they remember to turn appliances off when they finish cooking?
- Is the home equipped with safety features such as grab bars and emergency response systems?
- Do they have a plan in place to contact help in case of an emergency?
- Are they driving? Should they be driving? Do they have alternate means of transportation?
- Are there stacks of papers and unpaid bills lying around?
- Do they have friends, or are they isolated from others most of the time?
- When you really look at your parent, do you see the bright and vibrant person from years ago, or do you see a more limited person who needs some help one hour a day, or even around the clock?
If you answered yes to even a couple of these questions, your parent may be ready for an assisted living facility.
I know from my personal and professional experience that many children and grandchildren dread this conversation with their aging loved ones. But it’s so important to sit down and talk with them before a crisis hits, when decisions can be discussed and all options considered.
As you probably know, the process of selling a cherished family home and deciding where to live late in life can often span a few years. I have been called upon to help with this complex moving process many times over the years and I now have a deep appreciation and understanding of the emotional needs of senior adults and their families during the process, as well. When the time comes for you to begin working through this process with your parents, contact an agent who specializes in the unique needs of seniors.
For more information and to contact a Windermere Senior Transitions Specialist, please visit: http://windermeretransitions.com/
Regina Madiera-Gorden is a REALTOR®, Certified Senior Housing Professional, and Windermere real estate agent in Pierce County. You can view her website at HomesByRegina.net.