Working Out the Post-Pandemic Future for Your Senior Loved One
A lot of important life decisions and changes were put on hold when the COVID-19 pandemic ensued. Now that restrictions are being lifted and it is safer to travel and interact, many are finding themselves returning to where they left off. For those responsible for the care of older or disabled loved ones, this may mean resuming difficult conversations about their future.
Discuss different residence options.
If your loved one feels they are unable to enjoy a good quality of life in their present residence, talk about what other options are available for them. It may simply be that they need to downsize or relocate to a more manageable home.
If living on their own and tending to ordinary daily tasks is becoming onerous, however, there are several types of care facilities to consider. An independent living facility is a good choice for seniors who enjoy independence and autonomy but need a little extra help. An assisted living facility also offers a degree of independence, but with more hands-on and comprehensive care. Seniors who require more constant medical attention may feel more secure in a nursing home.
Discuss different financial options.
It’s important that all parties be able to discuss their financial concerns openly and honestly. Your senior loved one needs to know that their wishes will be respected and their best interests protected. At the same time, you should feel free to articulate concerns you have about how to budget for long-term care, and how it will be paid for. Some common financial concerns for older adults include running out of savings, increased health care costs, and worries regarding debt. It is important to make clear to your senior loved one that they are not a burden as you help them navigate these worries. But it may also be necessary for you to take over management of their finances.
Discuss selling their home.
If your older loved one is thinking of relocating, selling their home could help them acquire additional funds to finance more comprehensive care. This can be a difficult and emotional experience for anyone who has spent long years and made memories living in one abode, so it’s important that there be no pressure here — just an open and respectful conversation about options.
Find out how much their home is worth on the existing market so you have a clearer idea of whether selling makes good financial sense. Hiring a reliable realtor will reduce a lot of the legwork involved in a home sale and leave you with more free time to support your senior.
Before selling your senior loved one’s home, you may want to make some repairs to maximize the sale price. For instance, if your roof needs to be replaced or repaired, connect with local roofing companies. Replacing a standard-sized roof typically costs between $2,000 and $6,000 depending on its size and the roofing materials you use.
Make this a mutual effort.
You are both in this together. The decisions that are being made need to be made with respect for your loved one’s wishes and for their autonomy. Avoid nagging or tag-teaming them, even when you feel strongly that a certain decision is in their best interest. Do make sure they have all information available to them, whether about health care, residential options, their own finances, and the prospect of selling their home. Make it clear to your senior that you and other family members will be available to assist them with any sorting or downsizing needed, as well as with providing transportation and assisting them in locating realtors or care facilities.
Always talk to your loved ones and listen to their concerns before moving forward with important decisions about their finances, residence, and long-term care. And don’t hesitate to seek assistance or elder-care resources to help make this transitional time less stressful for all concerned.
Should your loved one have concerns about losing their independence or ability to drive, research senior transportation options in your area. SendaRide is a company that provides door-to-door transportation through drivers called “Care Partners”. The drivers are background checked and the rides are monitored in real time by their customer service representatives. You can book a ride for your parent by downloading the app or your parent can book from the app or by calling 1-800-731-1885.
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