Posted: August 11, 2022
As your loved ones reach a certain age or approach retirement, you may wonder if moving your aging parents closer to the family is the next best step for them. Retiring near family is common for many parents as they consider alternative ways to connect with their children and grandchildren with their newfound freedom. Whether they may find more satisfaction in living closer to loved ones or their health would benefit from nearby support systems, there are various approaches to discussing relocation with your senior parents.
Moving older parents closer to your location can provide many benefits for them and yourself. However, this change accompanies many questions you and your loved ones must evaluate before making any decisions. There is no right or wrong answer when choosing this next step. Every family’s circumstances are different and rely on various aspects of the parents’ and children’s lives.
Whether you think your senior parents should move closer to you or you’re unsure, consider these factors alongside your loved ones to develop a plan for taking the next step.
Noticing a difference in your parents’ activity or mindset may be the first indication of them requiring additional assistance. While observing this change in person is more beneficial, asking a close friend or relative to keep an eye on them can help keep you updated about their conditions from a further distance.
Changes in your parents’ habits can be subtle. Have you noticed your parent:
These indications are essential to observe and track regularly to ensure your parents’ safety. They may not even notice these actions in themselves. Check with them regularly to ensure they are comfortable living alone or with their partner. If these symptoms become more evident over time, you may find it easier to know if your senior parents should retire near family. It may be beneficial to sit down with them and discuss the next best step for their health, safety and mental capacity.
Before diving headfirst into the process of moving your parents closer to your location, take some time to consider a few factors that could influence your and your parents’ living dynamics. This change is a big decision and should not be made alone. Sit with your parents to discuss these terms to ensure everyone is on the same page and that meeting the family’s needs is a top priority.
Discuss the following:
One thing to consider if your senior parents are moving closer to family is if they are comfortable with the idea of moving to a different location. They are undoubtedly accustomed to their surrounding community after years of residence. After decades of creating daily routines that fit their personal needs and interests, it can be difficult for them to imagine a different environment.
This time is an excellent opportunity to express your own points that could direct their thoughts toward moving them closer to your home. While the decision to relocate should involve your parents’ thoughts, make sure you also have the opportunity to share your pros and cons list so everyone can fully understand the need for a different setting, if applicable.
The decision to relocate senior parents may come from a deeper emotional state. Nearly a third of elderly individuals admit to feeling lonelier as they age. The distance they have from the rest of the family can cause this sadness to set. Asking parents if they experience this emotion regularly can help evaluate their emotional needs. This factor can significantly affect whether your senior your parents moving closer to their children is best.
In the time they have spent in their current community, your parents have most likely established strong connections. Whether they participate in volunteer opportunities and organized club activities or can tell you everyone’s names from their local grocery store, they can feel emotionally tied to their town. This can make staying in the same residence space easier for older adults. They may be hesitant about moving, depending on their connection with their community and friends. In this case, they may not feel the loneliness that can accompany aging.
If you would prefer your parents to move closer for their physical and mental health, consider how well they would do in a new community. If your parents are social butterflies, they may be able to adapt quickly to a new environment. While they may miss their friends from their previous location, becoming a vital part of your community can ensure a comfortable move to a new environment. Take the time to familiarize them with local activities in your location before they move to create a stable socialization plan for when they enter the area.
One of the most important aspects to consider in this decision is how well you and your parents get along. Picking apart relationship dynamics like this can feel strange, but it’s necessary for various reasons. Evaluate things like:
How you answer these questions can help decide if your relationship with your parents might need some work before encouraging a move. Their health and safety are top priorities, but ensuring you feel content with their relocation is essential for your happiness.
Setting boundaries and establishing reasonable goals before they move closer can help maintain a positive relationship where both parties can benefit from each other’s presence. If there has been a strain in your relationship, consider addressing these concerns to avoid running into them again. Their need for assistance greatly outweighs any past disagreements, and both you and your parents should find happiness in this decision before taking the next steps.
Children should try to monitor their parents’ activities of daily living (ADL) as much as possible. These actions include getting dressed, bathing, walking and performing basic tasks independently. If you or others notice limits in completing ADLs, this can indicate a need for living assistance. Many parents may not admit to their children if these complications arise because of embarrassment or the desire to remain in the same home. However, the inability to perform ADLs or forgetting tasks easier can be a safety hazard if they live without proper supervision.
Similar to evaluating your relationship with your parents, also consider how much your daily routines differ from each other. Growing up around your parents has most likely let you become familiar with their hobbies and interests. Living a significant portion of your life with them can make the decision to move closer to you a bit easier based on your similarities or differences in daily activities.
If you find your daily routines correlate with theirs, it may make the decision clearer. However, if your days differ significantly from your parent’s, you may run into conflicting schedules. They may require extra help you cannot find time for, which can cause unnecessary guilt. Establish these similarities and differences as soon as possible to balance the interests of both parties.
Noticing a difference in your parents’ ability to complete ADLs over time can be one of the most vital indications of a need for living assistance. Observing a change in their habits is the right time to assess the everyday situations where their health may be at risk. If this is the number one reason for moving your parents closer, consider how their level of care will impact your day-to-day life.
Older parents may require specific care based on their current health conditions. Whether they live with a condition that limits their mobility or mental capacity, they might need your help when moving to the area. Consider how much free time you have for establishing proper care.
If their needs exceed your capabilities, consider hiring a trained caregiver that can dedicate their time to ensuring your parents receive quality care that suits their needs. This step can provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind as they are taken care of while you continue your daily routine and responsibilities.
If your parents have healthcare plans and physicians in their current location, consider how easy it would be to establish a similar arrangement in your location. They would have to meet new medical professionals and become familiar with hospitals and doctor’s offices outside their current facilities. However, if they don’t mind switching their healthcare and placing their trust in a new team of doctors, they should be able to move without too many changes in their healthcare processes.
This change can also let you become more involved with their health and treatments. Parents may ask you to start accompanying them on physician’s trips to help you get familiar with their medications and side effects, their doctors and the treatment options they might have.
Parents will appreciate the time and energy you spend making this step easier for them, and it could be quality bonding time.
This step is crucial for establishing plans before taking any physical action. To ensure a financially secure future for your parents, fully understand all of their banking information and monetary assets. Relocation will undoubtedly cost money. If your parents can provide for themselves financially, this factor can make the moving process significantly easier. Consider going over their savings, retirement funds and any income source to evaluate the best move with what they have saved.
Sit with your parents and ask the following questions:
Many older adults decide to sell their current home to make their next living accommodation more affordable in a new location. Help them tie up any financial loose ends before moving your parents. This step can take time to complete, so be prepared for this process to take place over a few months.
Discussing these factors with your parents should make the decision to move a bit clearer. You may find this choice is not the best step because your schedule does not allow for this shift in time difference, or they may prefer to stay close to their current location. There is also the possibility that moving closer is the safest option for everyone. Whatever conclusion arises, discuss moving options as soon as possible to prepare for the most effective course of action for your parents’ needs.
Encouraging parents to consider an assisted living community upon moving to a new area can help you both feel comfortable knowing quality care is more accessible than ever.
Supportive communities for older adults provide a secure environment for residents to make new friends, receive proper care from trained staff members and continue their favorite activities each day. Residential living at Casey’s Pond is beneficial for older adults’ health as they can participate in life enrichment in the surrounding nature, such as hiking, fishing, skiing and yoga. Staff provides medical support if needed.
If your parents need more assistance than before due to increased health concerns, assisted living options may be able to provide the support they need. Assisted living at Casey’s Pond can let your parents live a carefree life away from home maintenance duties. Staff takes care of any ADLs the residents are comfortable with, provide medical services if needed and maintain housekeeping for their living space. This secure residential option offers enriching community life for all residents to enjoy as they remain active and involved.
Making these necessary adjustments to living arrangements can create many wonderful memories in the future for you and your parents. Contact Casey’s Pond today with any questions regarding housing, services and this supportive community.