Things to Consider When Moving Elderly Parents to Another State
Moving elderly parents to another state might be challenging. Suppose your mother and father are ill, going through financial difficulties, or they began to isolate themselves from others. In that case, these might be signs that you need to undertake some steps and think seriously about relocating them near you. If you haven’t seen them for a while, because you moved across the country several years ago, you should consider visiting your mom and dad and finding a beneficial solution for everyone.
You’ll probably want to move your loved ones closer to you, but this decision has many psychological and logistical challenges. Dealing with some dilemmas and questions such as How do I convince my elderly parents to move in with me?, or How do you keep elderly parents home?, asked by your friend whose folks recently moved in with her/him, might be a stumbling block. But, before you start organizing a relocation, you should consider all factors that might influence your final decision.
When to Think About Moving Elderly Parents to Another State
If you’ve noticed that your folks are not able to clean and maintain their house, often forget to take their medications, or one of them fell and was significantly injured, your concern about your parent’s health is justified. One of the reasons to move may be the idea of finding a safer environment, whether that means moving to a smaller home or relocating from an apartment to a house. But, you don’t know what would be the best solution for them until you discuss it with them. Relocation is a major life change, and their reactions might be unpredictable. Also, keep in mind that there are many alternatives to explore, and you and your folks can find them more acceptable than moving into an apartment.
Preliminary Step: Open Discussion
Talking openly with your mom and dad and other family members is the first and essential step when deciding whether moving elderly parents out of state is the right decision. Organize family meetings with parents, children, spouse, your brothers, or sisters and let everyone share their opinions and suggestions. An active discussion is critical for family-related issues and will resolve any complicated situations faster.
So, what should be your topics to discuss? Here are the most relevant issues:
- Residential options
- The type of care that should be provided
- Changes in each person’s lifestyle
- The location of the new residence and checking how safe the prospective neighborhood
If you’re thinking about the possibility of everyone living within the same zip code, you should be aware that your area might be excellent for you, your spouse, and kids, but ask yourself if it is suitable for your mom and dad. To determine that, there are some factors you should define in order to help your parents adjust to a new town easier:
- Accessibility of primary care physicians (PCPs) in your environment
- What kind of health insurance your folks have now, and what services your area offers. This is especially important if they need various specialists treatments, which means a particular type of coverage
- Research home care services in your area
- Don’t forget about transportation options, mainly if your loved ones don’t drive anymore
- Try to learn your parents’ expectations in terms of your involvement in their medical issues
- Ask if they are willing to help you with babysitting
- Think about relocation expenses, transportation options, and hiring a reliable moving company.
What Are Potential Living Options When Moving Elderly Parents Out of State
When thinking about the type of housing you will choose, it depends on three crucial factors:
- The level of care needed
- Services and other supportive options available in the prospective city
Being in residential communities for seniors is a good choice due to people of similar age with the same interests. If you have a parent dealing with depression after losing the spouse, you should think about getting a dog or a cat because moving with pets might be a helpful and curative solution. A furry friend can also be a great company to mitigate moving stress and relocation depression. So, before any decision is made, bring your parent with you and visit several communities. Use this chance to stay at lunch, find more about activities, schedules, menus, and staff. Try to get as much as possible information about expenses, conditions, and overall standards.
If your mom or dad can’t complete many of the basic functions on their own, such as bathing, getting dressed, or using a bathroom, skilled nursing facility (SNF), known as nursing homes, can provide 24-hour care at home.
These places are the best choice for relatively independent seniors and can satisfy their own needs without medical help. They feature the same amenities as your folks previously used, such as entertainment options, grocery stores, and exercise spots. Retirement communities offer individual apartments with group meals, housekeeping services, and transportation options. Some offer nurse practitioner services, help with dressing, or something else if needed.
If your parent is somewhat independent but needs assistance with housekeeping, personal care, or medication handling, an assisted living facility (ALF) may provide you peace of mind. But, if you’re wondering How do I move my parents to assisted living?, knowing that they would like to stay in their own house for as long as they can, there are some preliminary steps to undertake and convince them that ALF could be the best option for them:
- Don’t act as their parent telling them you’ve already decided for them
- Offer them to visit some of the ALFs. If they are not willing to do it right now, don’t push, but wait a day or two and ask them again
- Check if anyone you know has a loved one in ALF or if any of your parents’ friends stay in one. They would feel much better if there was a person they know already in the center
- Stress the advantages of residing in one of these centers – they offer a focus on hobbies and interests, such as gardening, painting, cooking, handicrafts, etc.
- Your mom and dad will have plenty of freedom for themselves, but also plenty of opportunities to spend time with other people while surrounded by safety measures.
Also, if you have to deal with the question How do you move a parent with dementia to assisted living?, you shouldn’t worry about that either. Some ALFs have a separate wing for people with Alzheimer’s disease, and some are entirely dedicated to providing so-called “dementia care” or “memory care units.”
These communities are available in some states, and they provide multiple levels of care – from independent living with health and social services to skilled nursing facilities. For example, community living centers are designed to resemble home as much as possible, while nursing homes receive skilled medical assistance 24/7.
Your House Can Become Your Parents’ New Home
Of course, one of the options might be moving in with an elderly parent, or maybe with both, which includes the ability to monitor their health and make sure they’re surrounded by people of their age, and they are familiar with. This solution should be the final decision just if you can accommodate them, and your financial situation can bear that. If your mom and dad accept this offer, keep in mind that this will change not only your life but the lives of each family member in your household. Also, if you are in the area where some of the best mountain towns to live and work are situated, and your mom and dad come from humid subtropical Florida, this will mean moving to a different climate. This could be a kind of a shock to them, so make sure to prepare them timely and consult with a general practitioner if needed.
Understandably, you and your loved ones have different lifestyles, including eating habits and preferences, sleeping cycles, interests, and daily activities. That’s why some adjustments should be performed in order to make a daily routine easier for everyone. The best solution is to talk about different habits, schedules, and activities to determine what practices are compatible and whether your folks want to participate in your family’s activities or keep their independent social life and hobbies.
Caregiving Will Impact Your Time Significantly
Aging people require attention, particularly if they need medical aid and commitment. This will affect your family time, working habits, personal needs, and sleep. It’s essential to determine the number of hours you can devote to your mother and father and still have time for your hobbies, friends, small pleasures, and above all, for your kids and spouse. If your work adjustments are necessary, check if your employer is willing to meet your needs.
Home Modifications and New Items in the Form of Aids Are Necessary
One of the most important criteria that should be fulfilled is related to physical living arrangements. Remember that your folks might have vision problems, need more space, or require a wheelchair-accessible bathroom and shower. Consider obtaining a system or alarm set up to alert you when your mom or dad needs help.
Although financial matters are sensitive types of information, you will be involved in your parents’ bills, retirement accounts, or investments. If you take care of them, this is a regular step in your life together, so make sure to agree upon all financial details before they move into your house. Some of the questions you should make clear are the following:
- Will they pay something for their living expenses, for example, food, rent, or something else
- Take into consideration the option of automatic payment of recurring bills – this will save your time
- Find out is there any free or low-cost services related to Medicare for older adults
- Talk with your siblings about financial arrangements and make an agreement between them and your mother and father regarding out-of-pocket expenses.
Clean the Old Place Before Leaving
Once all the furniture is moved out of your folks’ place, take charge of the old dwelling. This is especially important if you own this house or apartment and plan to rent or sell it. If the prospective buyers are looking for a new place in perfect condition, it might be because they know that preferring clean properties is definitely one of the most important house-hunting tips. And your mother and father will be glad to know that their old residence shines with old splendor again.
When planning long-distance relocation, all tasks and organizational steps should be your responsibility. As aging people, your folks might be a perfect target for moving scams, and how to choose a moving company will probably be a complicated process for them. This relocation is a significant change in their lives, and you want everything to go smoothly. They are likely to be excited, nervous, and confused about their future state or a city, so make sure they pack and bring things people forget when moving, such as important documents or pieces of furniture they would like to have in their future home. That’s why you should create a moving to-do list and a moving across country checklist in order to jot down all valuables and precious tidbits your loved ones couldn’t live without. So, help them with the moving process, including packing and auto transport services if they are still active drivers.
Settling Into the New Place
After successful relocation, your mother and father will live with you, maybe in a nursing home, or a retirement community. Since everything will be strange and unfamiliar to them, they’ll need time to adjust to a new place. Go to see them as much as possible if you’re going to live separated, but try to give them enough space to find their own rhythm and gain friendships. Of course, your presence can help them become more relaxed and social with other people surrounding them.
Taking Care of Your Parents is the Most Rewarding Experience
Whatever type of housing your mom and dad choose, providing them support and attention when they need them most will be an experience worth doing it. If they accept to live in your house, they can become an integral part of your household and cherished among grandchildren. Choosing to be a caregiver is a unique role that gives you a chance to repay your folks everything they did for you.