Weighing the Options: Helping Seniors Transition Into a New Living Situation
article by Harry Cline, harry@Newcaregiver.org
Many seniors hit a fork in the road with regards to their living situation. These seniors have to make a difficult decision about how to continue forward, especially when it’s no longer possible for them to live at home on their own. This is a frustrating time for seniors who want to maintain their independence and freedom, but it is equally as challenging for family and friends who want to keep their elderly loved ones healthy. The best way to handle this transition is to weigh the potential options and decide which is best from there.
Remodeling a senior’s home.
Making some major changes to a senior’s home could make it possible for them to continue living there. This transition could be the least stressful on your elderly loved one, but it also requires a significant amount of investment. Remodeling a home is a good option for those who are financially stable and have a strong desire to stay put.
Accessibility will be the overarching goal of all these changes. You’ll want to make it easier for a senior to live and age in their own home. Some of these changes should include high-tech devices so that your loved one can be kept safe and comfortable. For example, a voice-activated entertainment system lets seniors enjoy the use of their television hands-free. Lights that flash or change color depending on the situation can be useful for seniors who need visual cues. Additionally, health-monitoring systems can alert emergency services when something is wrong. Last but not least, contact professionals to handle minor repairs that need addressing; for example, if you noticed cracked window glass, get this repaired ASAP, as it can cause heat to escape during those chilly winter months.
Transitioning into a smaller property.
Sometimes, the sheer size of a home is too much for a senior to handle. Large homes can make it harder for older adults to move around, clean, and pay for utilities and other expenses. Since no amount of modifications or changes can make these problems go away, there are times when it’s necessary to transition into a smaller property. As this move may be difficult for seniors to accept, it can be helpful to highlight the advantages it will afford their lifestyle.
The major benefit of this option is that all of the income from selling a senior’s home can go toward purchasing another property. As this newer home or apartment will most likely be smaller than the first, there’s a lot of money to be made in the process. These savings can go toward medical bills or other important expenses. Since most seniors are living on fixed incomes from 401(k) payouts or pensions, having extra money to go toward savings is always a plus. To buy an affordable new home, you’ll need to review your monthly expenses, annual income, and property taxes before taking out a mortgage.
Considering an assisted living facility.
This is an option that may be difficult to think about. Seniors want to continue living independently, and loved ones want their older relatives to remain functional and happy. Still, there are times when moving into an assisted living home is the best option available. When a senior has no other place to go and can no longer live a healthy life on their own, it is time to have the conversation.
To help make the transition easier, seniors can find a nursing home that offers independent living options. This way, they’d still have a sense of independence with the help they need very close by. It can also help to find an assisted living facility located close to friends and family. This will make it easier to organize routine and consistent visits.
It can be difficult for a senior to decide whether it’s time to change their current living situation. For your safety and health, it’s important to consider all of the potential options that are available. Even if one of these options doesn’t appeal to you at first, taking its pros (and cons) into account will help you make the best decision possible.
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