For seniors, relocating to a retirement community or assisted living residence can open the door to increased stress and high emotions. This step often means giving up some part of their independence and certainly means leaving familiar surroundings behind. How can adult children help their parents make the transition? Like an experienced guide on a road you’ve never traveled before, an elder law attorney can help families navigate the process.
When it’s no longer possible for aging parents to live independently, a whole host of issues need to be settled with their best interests in mind. Your parents’ home often represents a large portion of their assets. Other financial considerations may include hiring a living trust attorney or finalizing arrangements for parents’ ongoing budgetary needs through the remainder of their lives. There will be decisions to make based on health needs. Aging parents may be moving to a different town or state and or downsizing to a smaller residence.
Steps to Take to Make Your Parents’ Move Easier
Every situation is different, but there are some solid, practical steps that can make the journey easier for the entire family.
Working with an elder law attorney. An attorney who specializes in elder law can aid your parents in making a wide variety of decisions to better meet their needs for the remainder of their lives. Decisions can be made about choosing beneficiaries, making end-of life arrangements, and protecting assets so that the elderly family member can comfortably live on their budget. Other decisions might involve appointing family members to make health and financial decisions.
Deciding to sell or keeping property. In many cases, seniors decide to sell the property so that the money can be used to help with their living costs. In other cases, they might wish to keep the property in the family. An elder law attorney can help families make such estate-planning decisions.
Downsizing possessions. A good way to help elders downsize is to start as early as possible, taking time to go room by room and making sure to defer to their decisions. For many families, this step will need a great deal of patience and time.
Choosing a new home. Your parents’ new home may be chosen for a number of reasons, including health considerations. Involve elders in making a list of criteria that covers what they want and need. Then help them identify and evaluate available options. It’s important that they’re comfortable with the new living situation, which may mean multiple visits as part of the decision-making process.
Easing the stress of moving day. Moving can be stressful for anyone, but it’s especially difficult for people who have lived in their home for decades. The number-one priority should be to make the process as easy and considerate as possible for your aging parents. Make sure as much of the packing and organizing is handled in advance. Hire movers or enlist willing family members to help. Make certain someone spends time with elderly loved ones so that they have a support system if they need one.
It’s important that you realize that this change in lifestyle can be stressful for everyone. While there are many decisions to be made, an elder law attorney can help with the legal and financial aspects so that family members can concentrate on providing the more important emotional support that seniors deserve and need.
Is it time for your parents to downsize into a smaller home or move into a senior living community? Contact us today for more information about how we can help.