Home Away from Home: Relocating Your Parents

As you’ve watched your parents get older, perhaps you have struggled with situations such as these:

  • You’ve travelled to visit your mother for the holidays, and found her refrigerator nearly empty, her bills unpaid and her house in disarray.
  • A neighbor has called you to report that your father was wandering in the street, unable to find the home he’s lived in for 30 years.
  • Your mother has neglected to take her diabetes medications, severely compromising her health.
  • Your very independent father fell and broke his hip, making it impossible to navigate the stairs in his home.

If there is a decline in cognitive abilities as a result of Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, or a shift in a medical condition that requires increased care, there is clear cause to be concerned about your parent’s welfare. It may be time to consider a move to a safer environment.

But where should he or she live? Often your first inclination is to move Mom or Dad into your home—but this major life change deserves thoughtful examination, and there are many alternatives to explore. This Fact Sheet offers advice and summarizes the issues to consider before making the important and challenging decisions regarding relocating your parent.

To see the Fact Sheet, click on the following link:  https://www.caregiver.org/home-away-home-relocating-your-parents

Downsizing a home–a checklist for caregivers

As we progress through life, moving may signal new opportunities, a new relationship, a new adventure ahead. For an older adult this “new” opportunity may feel like a mixed blessing. On the positive side, a move may offer a sense of “lightening” to reduce the messy clutter of a family’s history, fewer home and yard chores and can help reduce feelings of isolation of living alone. More often, this relocation can be an unwelcome admission of frailty, loneliness, possible serious illness, and a loss of independence.

This tip sheet offers a handy guide to save time, energy and sleepless nights. Most importantly, the Checklist below provides a tool to help you organize your move and help it progress as smoothly as possible. Since every situation is different, select the areas that apply to you, and add your own notes in the spaces provided below.

If you are facing a crisis, such as moving a parent into an assisted care residence after a caregiving spouse dies, or into a nursing home after a devastating stroke, the process will be condensed and planning time will be minimal. This may be the most challenging experience of all. We encourage you to get as much help and support as you can from friends, family, religious communities and social service organizations. (For more information, see also FCA’s fact sheet

Click on the following link to access information about the checklist:  https://www.caregiver.org/downsizing-home-checklist-caregivers

Resources for older adults in Montgomery County

The Vital Living Network has compiled an online guide to inform older adults  about the wide range of aging-support resources available in Montgomery County.

Many of the programs and services listed are free. Others involve fees of varying amounts.   The Networker urges users not to assume that participating will be financially out of reach and suggests calling the organizations listed to discuss
costs.  They note that faith-based organizations generally offer their services to all.  To access the guide, click on the following link:

https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/HHS-Program/Resources/Files/A%26D%20Docs/Vital-Living-Networker_2015.pdf

People become happier as they age, in spite of coronavirus

Ellyn Lem has surveyed over 200 people 65 and older and reported the results in her book, Gray Matters: Finding Meaning in the Stories of Later Life.  She found that people over 65, for the most part, are handling the coronavirus pandemic well.  Though they did acknowledge health concerns, caretaking responsibilities, and some loneliness, almost all “described their ‘general mood most days’ in upbeat terms.”  Lem finds this to be consistent with existing research findings that most people, worldwide, become happier as they age.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/elderly-coping-pandemic-despite-isolation/2020/09/18/f397dea8-f763-11ea-89e3-4b9efa36dc64_story.html