One of the biggest challenges for parents and adult children is adjusting to the inevitable role reversals that come with age. As our parents get older, they may find it harder to do some of the things they once took for granted. They may also find it harder to admit that day-to-day tasks are becoming more challenging. As their adult children, it is then up to us to help them make difficult decisions. One is deciding when it is time to leave their home.
Some facts and figures to ponder.
Before you talk to your parents about a permanent move, consider the following.
- Approximately 90 percent of the participants in a recent survey are planning on staying in their current homes for the next five to 10 years. Of these, a significant number, 85 percent, are convinced they can do so without making any major changes to their homes.
- The top two reasons for aging at home given by survey participants were proximity to friends and family and staying in a home they like.
- More than 60 percent of seniors between age 60 and 70 reported finding it “very easy” to live with little or no assistance. On the other hand only 43 percent of those over 70 do so.
What to look out for as an adult child.
As an adult child, you may feel the need to walk a very fine line. How do you know when it is time to talk to your parents about certain concerns, and when is it time to intervene? This may be especially difficult if you do not live near your parents and only see them occasionally. The following are clues that it could soon be time for your parents to leave their home:
- Trouble getting around
- Noticeable decline in health, especially due to chronic illnesses
- Poor hygiene
- Disheveled appearance
- Poor nutrition
- Slower recuperation from illness or injury
- Failure to take medications as prescribed
- Difficulty with household chores and maintenance
- Ignoring mail
- Failing to pay bills on time
- Evidence of difficulty driving
- Confusion or becoming easily disoriented in familiar surroundings
- Difficulty caring for pets
We understand the challenges of finding a new place to live and being able to afford it as you age.
Figuring out where your parents may live after they move out of their house may also pose its own set of challenges. The decision is usually based on several factors, including their overall health and what they can afford. Options for seniors who still have significant independence include smaller homes or apartments and senior/retirement communities. Other options include assisted living and long-term care facilities, such as skilled nursing homes.
Starting to think about these issues well in advance can help alleviate some of the stress and heartache that you and your parents may face during this transition. We want you to know that we are here to support you now and in the long-term. Please feel free to call our law firm to schedule a meeting at any time.