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When Elderly Parents Lose Their Independence

Whether it is moving to a retirement community, nursing home facility, or simply closer to the kids the changes associated with moving an elderly parent or relative can be fraught with stress and logistically challenging. There are few transitions in life more difficult for a person than when a senior needs to give up their home and independence. Giving up a house and friends of many years is an emotional and difficult experience for everyone involved.

Easing the Transition

There are many different ways to ease the transition for your loved one, but the most important is giving the older adult the opportunity to make their own choices about the decision. In addition, planning ahead for this type of transition is also a big help for everyone involved. Making plans early, instead of waiting for an emergency to hit, goes a long way in minimizing the stress for everyone.

Initiating these types of discussions can take a lot of effort, and the reluctance to talk can cut both ways. Of course, some elderly parents simply refuse to discuss the idea of losing their independence at all, and it is not difficult to see why. The best way to deal with a situation like this is to explain that the reason why the talk needs to happen is because you value their input as your parent or elderly loved one.

Making a Plan

Some seniors take issue when their children say that they want their input for this type of decision. Seeking input can sometimes be misconstrued as saying that the child has the final say in their parent’s independence and living arrangements. Another way to approach the situation is to tell your loved one that you want to carry out their wishes as best as you possibly can.

The adult children also need to sit down and discuss the plan amongst each other. Families need to sit down and discuss who will play what role in the transition. You need to decide who will help with the move, help with the finances, and who can visit when. The children should also do the majority of the legwork in seeking out homes, retirement communities, or nursing home facilities for their parent to choose from.

During and After the Move

When it comes time for the actual move to occur, make sure that your senior loved one is still involved in the decision making process. Make sure that they have a say in what furniture and other personal belongings will be coming with them. If help is needed, there are a number of companies that help with senior moves, including the National Association of Senior Move Managers.

Another way to ease the transition during and after the move is to have the new home or living space completely unpacked before the first night, making the new space as homey as possible. In addition, try to spend as much time as possible with your elderly loved one in their new space over the next few weeks until they get acclimated with their new living arrangements. By following these tips, hopefully you and your elderly loved one can make the transition with as little stress as possible.

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