Senior Living - February 11, 2021

Tips for Moving Elderly Parents Closer to Adult Children

If your family is like so many others, you may have moved away from your hometown after college to follow your career. Or perhaps your parent relocated to a warmer climate when they retired. No matter how the distance came about, you may want to consider moving them to a senior living community if they are struggling to complete responsibilities of day-to-day living. And if you can’t see them at least once a week to help, they may as well be living a million miles away than dozens or hundreds.

If you’re concerned about your family member’s well-being or if they are living with dementia, here is what you should consider helping them move to a senior living community closer to you.

Knowing When It’s Time to Move Elderly Parents Closer

Consider Activities of Daily Living

The first factor to consider is the concept of of ADLs (activities of daily living) developed by Dr. Sidney Katz. These are indicators that show a person’s ability to live independently. These ADLs include:

  • Bathing
  • Eating
  • Getting dressed
  • Going to the bathroom
  • Controlling when you go to the bathroom
  • Getting out of bed

Scoring is either zero points if the activity can’t be performed or one point if it can. The higher the score, the more likely the person is able to live independently. If your loved one has a low score, you’ll want to talk with them about making the move to a senior living community.

Prepare to Talk to Your Loved One

Before you sit down to speak with your parents, make sure you do your homework to prepare for the conversation.

  • Make a list of your concerns as to why you don’t believe their current environment is safe and healthy.
  • Educate yourself on living arrangements. Look at senior living options near you and research the levels of care offered. If moving your parent in with you is a possibility, this may also be worth exploring.
  • Learn about the healthy lifestyle offered at senior living communities and discuss your findings with your elderly loved one. A positive environment around friends and family can add years to a senior’s longevity.
  • Emphasize to your parent how important it is for them to live close by so you can monitor their health and spend time with them. Being around familiar people, such as family, is also important as they age.

This is a challenging conversation. It’s important to respect and honor your parent and invite their collaboration. Having these conversations over a period of time will give them a sense of control and peace of mind about their future.

Consider Their Level of Care and Financial Situation

It’s important to have a strategy in place depending on the level of care your parent needs. Costs vary by the level of care (Assisted Living, Memory Support, Independent Living), as well as, what is included. Typically, there is a base rate, which includes some meals, activities, programming and utilities. There may be charges for additional support services, like additional nursing care. Consider consulting with a geriatric care manager or social worker, as you consider your options and what you can and cannot do for your parent.

Other items to think about include the following:

  • Consider which activities of daily living your parent can do independently, such as eating, bathing, and going to the bathroom.
  • Evaluate the level of care your parent will need in terms of constant supervision or assistance.
  • Examine your physical health and desire and ability to provide care for your parent in your own home.
  • Explore services that are available in your community, such as respite care, adult day services and meal delivery.
  • Investigate senior living communities that can provide the level of care your parent needs, visiting in person or virtually, as needed. Consider the amenities and activities the community offers.

Finally, be sure to include your parent in the decision-making process. It’s important that they agree and feel comfortable about the decision regarding their own care.

Making the Move

Since your parent will be moving from the home they’re used to, downsizing is crucial. Talk to them as early as possible about developing a plan for downsizing. Treat their possessions with respect as you work with them to decide what they would like to bring to their new home.

Once the move is planned, set up a schedule for packing, but be prepared to move slowly. Putting pressure on your parent to let go of items will likely be counterproductive. Get as much of the family involved as possible and find a home for items that may have sentimental value whenever possible.

Make it a priority to make their new residence feel as home-like as possible. This can ease the stress and anxiety of the transition. For example, help them decorate with cherished items. You can also digitize photos on an electronic device that doesn’t take up much space but keeps these heirlooms accessible.

If possible, spend time with them in their new place. There may currently be local health department restrictions for visiting loved ones in a senior living community, but virtual and outdoor visits are good options to stay in touch with your parent.

Find Senior Living Communities Near You

At Villagio Senior Living, we learn and value what makes every resident unique. And by getting to know your loved one on a deeper level, we’re able to customize care to their personal story. With senior living communities in Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado, we open the door to deeper purpose for residents and peace of mind for them and their families.

You can read more about senior living is, and the options available here. If your parent is ready to begin the next chapter of their life, contact us today.

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