Eventually aging senior citizens must make the painful decision to leave their home. If they are unable, the decision often falls to their children or primary caregiver. Knowing when to make the move varies by individual.
These tips can help baby boomers prepare for their aging parents move:
1. Discuss the future. As your parents age, begin to discuss their plans for the future as early as possible. Do they want to stay in their home, sell it and move south, buy an RV and travel? What are their intentions?
By listening to your parents’ comments and gently asking probing questions, you will have an idea that their desires. Include other family members in the conversation if they are available to avoid possible conflicts later on.
Sometimes when an aging relative or friend faces a life choice, you can more easily discuss the topic with your own parents. You may find they are more than ready to talk about the future and will welcome the opportunity to begin making plans.
2. Deal with reality. Sometimes what aging parents would like to do in the future and what they are able are two different things. Selling everything and traveling around the country sounds great, but if Mom is already showing signs of dementia and Dad can no longer drive, they will have to make alternative plans.
Consider early in the process whether having one or both of your aging parents move in with you should be an option, especially if you are married with a family. If you are single, you could possibly move in with your loved one. Look at all options based on financial and health considerations, those in your best interests as well as theirs. Also there are many aiding tools that are essential for elderly or people with disability. For example if your parents are too old they may need some best reacher grabbers to pick items that are fallen or kept at a higher place.
3. Develop a tentative plan. If their mental and physical health has slowly declined, they can still play an active role regarding their future. Allowing their involvement in the care and choice of their living arrangements allows them to keep their dignity during a most difficult time.
When Living Alone – You can help ease the transition to their new home
When allowed to see the new living space, they can decide what should go with them to their new home, making the transition less painful. If they are moving into senior citizen housing, adult foster care, or assisted living, pointing out the positive aspects will help them make the adjustment. When they see the available activities and realize they will have other seniors for companionship, they may adjust more easily than expected.
Understand the process may not always be smooth and they will need a time of adjustment as they get used to their new home. The earlier you are able to evaluate your loved ones health and begin to plan for their future needs, baring unexpected emergencies, the smoother the transition for everyone. By keeping all family members apprised of your parents’ wishes, concerns, and needs, the less likely conflicts will arise. When the time comes, decisions made in the best interest of all concerned will bring as much peace and harmony as possible in the midst of a major life transition.
Ideas for Nursing Home Room Decor
When a family member transitions from home to a nursing, the feelings of loss and change, the unfamiliar surroundings, and distance from close neighbors and friends often have a profound effect. One way families can ease the transition is to pay particular attention to the decor in their loved ones’ new home.
Most nursing homes or group homes have specific regulations regarding allowable items in each room. Be sure to obtain a list of the rules before you begin decorating. Room space will also determine what they can bring from home.
The following ideas may or may not apply in your loved one’s specific situation,
1. Discuss the pending move with them to make sure they understand why the move is taking place. Such a huge lifestyle change should be handled with care and understanding. Addressing underlying emotions can ease the transition.
2. Seek their opinion as to what they would like to take with them, and honor their requests even if you do not necessarily agree with their choice. After all, this is their new home and they need to feel as comfortable as possible. If they are able, allow them to help plan their space to give them a sense of control and help them, in some small way, look forward to their move.
3. If allowed, a familiar rocking chair or recliner will help the senior feel at home. A small TV can provide an opportunity to watch favorite shows or movies to help fill empty hours. A coffee table or end table from home could add familiarity to the room.
4. Decorate the room with a familiar theme using color, a favorite collection, or a particular hobby. What colors are prominent in their home? Duplicate the color scheme if possible. If throw rugs are allowed, either bring one from home or provide a new rug in the preferred color or pattern. Also, bedspreads and curtains in the theme color can add a sense of continuity to the decor.
5. Changing the bedspread and rug with the seasons of the year gives the room an automatic freshness. Such changes can be made at the same time seasonal clothing is exchanged.
6. Bringing a picture or two from home adds to the decor while providing a familiar feel to the room. Favorite photos of family members also provide a sense of well-being. A framed photo collage is perfect to hang on a wall in plain view of the loved one’s bed or favorite chair. A small photo album of special pictures could be placed in a draw for occasional viewing. A crisscross bulletin board is a great repository for photos and cards, and easily updated.
7. One family member made a beautiful artificial flower arrangement in a clay pot, then adhered photos of the grandchildren to the outside of the pot. The bouquet added color to the room and the photos brought back pleasant memories.