No matter their circumstances, most seniors at some point grapple with the decision to age-in-place or relocate to a senior community; maybe you or a parent are one of them! The choice might be precipitated by financial circumstances, health issues, or other factors. Regardless, it’s one to be thought through carefully and honestly. Here’s a walk-through of some of the most important aspects for you or your parent to consider:
Nearly everything about owning and maintaining a home costs money. If Mom is on a fixed income, it’s time to ask:
- Is she able to afford necessary repairs?
- Are rising property tax bills becoming an issue?
- Is Mom’s home safe in all seasons – with walkways shoveled, proper stair railings, and sufficient insulation?
- Are local property values rising with the cost of living, or is Mom’s potential cash-out value decreasing with local market trends?
Roughly 80% of older Americans are dealing with a chronic health condition, and over 85% are on two or more prescription medications. It’s therefore likely Mom’s got some health concerns of her own. Ask:
- Is she able to navigate her home safely, without balance issues or falls?
- Is Mom taking all prescription medications safely and on the right schedule?
- Is she able to get to all necessary medical appointments?
- Does she have access to proper nutrition, and eating healthy meals each day?
- Is she showing signs of cognitive difficulty – i.e. getting lost in familiar places, not being able to follow basic instructions, getting lost in general conversation?
Quality of Life
Changes in both health and financial circumstances can cause Mom to be more isolated, and at risk for loneliness and depression. Consider:
- Is Mom still seeing people regularly – from her neighborhood, church, or senior center?
- Is she able to maintain her appearance, keeping up with hair appointments, laundry, personal hygiene?
- Is she still willing and able to cook for herself?
- Open the refrigerator. Is it tidy and uncluttered, free of old or expired food?
Honest answers to these types of questions should help paint a clear picture of what choice makes the most sense for you or your parent. For more helpful information on the topic, download our Senior Living Solutions Guide.