Is it Time to Move?

By Dr. Marion Somers, Ph. D., Elder Health Resources of America, Inc.

In most circumstances, our elder loved ones want to stay in their own home as they age. ?Aging in place? is actually a very big trend these days. Your elder's home is filled with many memories, stories, and family associations. There is also the practicality of knowing where everything is in the home, in addition to the local shopping, recreation, senior center, place of worship, and clubs that they belong to. Friends, neighbors, and colleagues are also close enough to visit. In so many ways, home represents who your elder is now and who he or she has been. It also provides a certain level of independence and autonomy.

But sometimes circumstances change. Spouses and friends die.

Neighborhoods change. Declining health can become an issue. Staying at home may no longer be a safe or viable option. At the point when a major decision has to be made, please consider all of the options that are available.

One practical approach is to list out all of the pros and cons on one piece of paper. Think through all of the practical and emotional details and options thoroughly. For your elder loved one, this change can be both traumatic and a blessing. Walk and talk your senior through all of the pluses and minuses. It's vital that your elder be included every step of the way in this major life change.

If you're thinking of a facility, be it retirement living, assisted living, or a nursing facility, be sure to visit the place that best fits your elders needs and requirements. Go on the ?official tour,? and then return at a less formal time. If you know anyone who has lived at your chosen facility, get their opinion. Does the facility appear clean and calm? Is the staff polite to the residents and with each other? Once a decision is made and contract time arrives, make sure you know what you're signing. It's often wise to have an elder care lawyer review the contract so you know exactly what expenses and costs are involved.

Doctor Marion provides expert advice on the AGIS website. Click here to see her other advice.

©2008 Elder Health Resources of America, Inc.


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