How to Relocate a Senior Parent to an Assisted Living Community When You Do Not Live Nearby
In the United States today, most caregivers of women and men in their Golden Years are spouses and adult children. In some cases, adult children assisting with the caregiving of an aging parent live a considerable distance from their mothers and fathers. These situations often give rise to the idea of a senior parent moving to an assisted living community.
If you are an adult child of a senior parent in the type of geographic situation described, you and your mother or father may have decided that a move to assisted living makes sense. You now face the next hurdle: moving your parent to assisted living when you live far away. In this article, we provide some practical information about what you will need to do to assist your parent in moving to assisted living when you live afar.
We address four primary components of a successful move under the circumstances discussed a moment ago:
- Overview of the due diligence process from afar
- Deal with downsizing from a distance
- Engage a reliable real estate agent
- Obtain professional packing assistance
- Hire a reputable moving company
- Consider being on-hand for the actual move-in
Overview of the Due Diligence Process From Afar
Undertaking due diligence about considering your parent’s move to an assisted living community when you do not live near your mother or father is a challenge. In some instances, a senior certainly has the ability necessary to address due diligence issues associated with a move. However, just because a person can do it alone does not mean they want to do it alone.
One key step you can take to effectively assist your mother or father regarding due diligence in selecting an assisted living community is to schedule a week to travel to your parent when two to four “finalists” have been selected regarding potential assisted living communities.
By spending this length of time with your parent, you will be able to visit the different communities more than once at different times of day and days of the week. This allows the ability to get a broader picture of a particular community.
This also allows you to meet administrators and others associated with the finalist assisted living communities. You can ask questions of these individuals in addition to those that your parent might raise.
In addition, your physical presence sends a clear message to these assisted living communities that although you are not nearby, you play a meaningful role in your parent’s life. This is important for an assisted living community’s staff to understand.
Deal With Downsizing From a Distance
Downsizing is an issue when your mother or father moves to an assisted living community. Your parent very likely is living in a place that will be larger and contains far more in the way of furniture and other items that can move along to an assisted living community.
Some specialists assist people in downsizing, including older individuals moving to assisted living. Your parent may have friends who can lend assistance regarding the task of downsizing. There may be other family members closer to your mother or father who can assist with the downsizing process. Of course, you may want (or need) to schedule a return trip to aid with downsizing and some other issues that need to be addressed before your parents move to an assisted living community.
Engage a Reliable Real Estate Agent
If your parent is a homeowner, and many older individuals own their own homes, putting the home on the market for sale is another task associated with a transition to assisted living. In this regard, you want to ensure that your parent retains the services of a capable, reliable, and reputable real estate agent. Your parent may want your assistance in this matter, even if your mother or father can do this independently.
Obtain Professional Packing Assistance
If you live a distance from a parent moving to assisted living, between helping with due diligence and other matters, you may not personally be available to assist with getting your parent packed up for the proverbial “big move.” As is the case with some other issues, there may be some friends or family members who can assist with packing. Keep in mind that in this day and age, there are also packing professionals or packing services in many communities that can undertake this task for your mother or father.
Hire a Reputable Moving Company
Your parent may want you to help find a reputable moving company to get your parent’s property to his or her new home. Make sure you engage a moving company with an established track record for reliable services.
You may also want to reach out to the assisted living community where your parent is moving or to the real estate agent who assisted with (or is assisting with) the sale of your parent’s residence. They might be able to make solid recommendations as well.
Make certain you hire a moving company that provides specific pickup and delivery dates for your parent’s property. This is particularly important if an out-of-state move is occurring.
Consider Being On-Hand for the Actual Move-in
Finally, when your parent is moving to an assisted living community, consider being personally on hand for a few days when your parent moves in. Your presence may help get your parent settled and acclimated to his or her new home.