When your parents or loved ones are thinking about the future, the idea of staying in the home they love is appealing. The memories that were made under that roof provide a sense of security and nostalgia: The home where children were raised, where grandchildren played, and a life was established. The idea of leaving it behind may seem unimaginable and unnecessary. It is their home and it’s where they want to stay throughout their twilight years.
But is that home the best place for them? Outside of sentimental reasons, there are practical and logical aspects that should be considered. While this conversation may initially result in disappointment, ultimately, helping make the best long-term decisions will be rewarding for everyone.
Socializing is an important aspect of any person’s life – whether it’s a toddler or a senior citizen. Having a good conversation and interaction with others is a key part of having a fulfilled existence, and it’s an important consideration. Many studies show that socialization among seniors leads to cognitive advantages as well as improved emotional health. Will your loved ones be able to socialize regularly if they stay in their current home? If they are in a 55+ community, or they have many neighbors who have become lifelong friends, perhaps the answer is yes. But if their friends aren’t nearby, or can no longer drive, it may make more of an impact than you might think.
Running errands and getting to appointments are part of most people’s weekly routines. Is their home nearby public transportation? Is there someone close that can be relied on to drive them to and from their doctor appointments? Even if they are able to drive now, unfortunately, that may not always be the case. One advantage that senior living centers generally offer is transportation. In order to avoid being homebound, having a plan for transportation is something to carefully consider.
As all homeowners know, there’s a lot of work involved. Whether it is lawn care, fixing a plumbing issue or general upkeep, there are tasks required to maintain a house. When these issues are ignored because a person simply can’t keep up, the results can be dangerous and costly. Is maintaining a house something your loved one is able and willing to do?
Layout of the house
Being able to easily navigate the home is one of the most critical aspects of deciding where to reside as a senior. Are there a lot of stairs? While they may be manageable now, will they be later? Falls can be serious for elderly persons, and unfortunately, stairs increase that risk. If they are currently residing in a one-level home, this may be a more ideal circumstance.
Having this discussion with your parents or loved one may be difficult. But the earlier you have it, the more prepared you will all be for whatever decisions come from it.