Are You Ready for the Challenges of Supporting Aging Relatives?
Submitted by Guest Author Hazel Bridges, Creator of AgingWellness.org
It’s common for older adults to struggle with certain day-to-day tasks. Some seniors move into assisted living facilities to get help with the activities of daily living. Others may take pride in living independently and prefer to stay in their own homes, getting help from care aides or loved ones. Senior Living Concierge Services discusses a few crucial points in this article.
Should You Move Closer to a Senior Loved One?
Moving house is a major undertaking for anyone. Most people choose where they want to live based on community, amenities, or work. Moving to support your parents or another older relative can be a scary decision, but it’s one that can work as long as you and your loved ones don’t have unrealistic expectations.
If you’re considering making the move, be aware of how much work can go into looking after a senior who’s in poor health. Are you sure you’ll be able to handle the ongoing demands of caring for a senior? Some people find they move to care for a loved one, then still have to bring in outside help for day-to-day personal care and medical support.
If you do decide to move, consider the following:
- Is your loved one fully on board with the idea of you moving closer?
- Can you work remotely or move partway and still commute to your job?
- Will your children still be able to get to school or college?
- Could you keep the old property and rent it out so you can move back if things don’t work out?
- Have you found a house you like that you can afford close to your loved one?
The move will be much easier to cope with mentally if there are positives to relocating beyond the single tie of being close to family.
How Can You Help the Older Adults in Your Life?
Make a plan for the practical side of helping your parents. Start by conducting a needs assessment. How many practical issues can you help with, and do you need to be physically present to offer that help?
Would your elderly relatives cope better if they had a meals–on–wheels service supporting them with wellness checks and nutritious food?
If you move closer to them, you may be able to help with:
- Daily check-ins
- Cooking and shopping
- Home repairs
- Medication reminders
- Administrative assistance for bills
- Social contact
These are all valuable forms of help that can make a huge difference in an older adult’s quality of life.
Home Repairs to Make a Senior-Safe Property
It’s important for older adults to live in warm, safe housing. If a senior is struggling to heat their house or their property is drafty, home repairs could go a long way toward improving their quality of life.
Heat loss through windows is responsible for 25% to 35% of residential heating-related energy use. Damaged windows are even less efficient. Inspect your loved one’s home and consider calling in a window repair contractor if needed. Start by searching online for ‘home window repair companies near me.’ The average cost of window repair is $290, but repair costs can vary depending on where you live and the type of window that needs to be replaced.
You may also want to bring in other contractors to fix leaky plumbing, make the garden tidy, or repair fences and gutters. When looking for contractors, be sure to read reviews and get several quotes before choosing a specific professional.
Sometimes, Long-Term Care Makes Sense
Some seniors require more care than their loved ones can provide. If your senior relative requires constant support with bathing, grooming, and meals, you may not be able to offer that while also going to work and looking after your own family. In that case, assisted living may make sense. Choosing a residential care facility is something you can work on with your loved one. If they feel involved in the decision, they’re more likely to be receptive to the idea.
Take Care of Yourself and Your Loved Ones
The decision to move closer to an aging loved one should not be made lightly. Write a care plan, and consider fixing up the property so your senior can live safely at home, avoiding assisted living placement. For more help in making the big decisions, schedule an appointment with Senior Living Concierge Services today at (816) 666-7083. Learn more here.
Hazel Bridges is the creator of AgingWellness.org, a website that aims to provide health and wellness resources for aging seniors. She’s a breast cancer survivor. She challenges herself to live life to the fullest and inspire others to do so as well.