Making the Move

January 26, 2015

As I was sifting through my stack of interesting articles and newspaper clippings, I came across one from June 2014 in the Knoxville News Sentinel. It was written by Michelle Singletary discussing the difficult choices she faced with her aging mother. Both Michelle and her sister lived away from their mother who had suffered from a stroke, and they wanted her to come live with one of them. Though her mother realized that she needed help, she refused to leave her home, and independence.

I see this so often as an Elder Advocate. Families see that their aging loved one is struggling to live alone, and fear for their safety, while that loved one fights to stay in the home that they know. To move, or not to move?  That is, many times, one of the most difficult decisions a caregiver/ family must make.

How do you initiate the “moving” conversation?

  1. I believe that it is important to put yourself in “their shoes”. Remember that they are not children. They were once completely independent, and have taken care of themselves for years. It would be difficult for most anyone to give up that independence no matter the situation. It is also important to consider the environment changes that you are asking them to make. How difficult would it be to live in a home for years, by yourself, and then move to a facility, surrounded by people you don’t know, possibly sharing a room with someon? Try to understand how this might make them feel.
  2. Be prepared. You must have an idea of your loved one’s needs and options surrounding those needs. If you are considering an assisted living, indipendent living, or skilled nursing facility, take a tour of those facilities. Know what services they offer, and have an understanding of their pricing scale. If you are considering moving them in with you, or another family member, know what home caregiver agencies are available.
  3. Don’t do it alone. It is always a good idea to have someone act as a “mediator” to insure that both parties are able to hear and understand one another. Be careful to chose someone who will be objective, so that neither party feels that they are being “ganged up on”.

While this is a difficult conversation to have with our aging loved one, it is important. Don’t wait for something extreme to happen before you take action.

Filed under: Assisted Living,Decision Making,Elder Advocates Partners,Elder Law,independent living,Nursing Home

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