Recognizing Your Parents are Ready for a Change
Monday Aug 31st, 2020
Seeing your parents as people doesn’t always come naturally. For your whole life, you likely saw your Mom or Dad as your protector, your caregiver, your sounding board or your guide. These are people that you admire and perceive as pillars of strength. No matter how old you get, there is still comfort in calling Mom or Dad after a bad day or when you need a boost.
As adult children, we often forget that our parents are people too. They have their struggles, limitation and challenges – especially as they age. It’s hard to imagine – let alone watch them – experience a loss of independence or become more vulnerable. As a family, we try to do all we can to support aging parents as a way to fend off a major lifestyle change, like a move into a retirement community or some other form of care. But, truly, in these types of situations, transitioning to a supportive senior living environment can rekindle an aging parent’s independence by providing them access to the supports, care and social opportunities they need to lead a fulfilling life.
As for when to know if it’s time for a lifestyle change, the saying that, “Age is only a number,” applies. There isn’t a life phase or milestone that should be the driving factor. Instead, it’s all about function and autonomy.
If your parents are having a hard time maintaining their home or they worry about safety risks, such as stairs or an inaccessible bathroom, a move into a senior community might be the peace of mind that they (and you) need. There are emotional drivers too, like craving more social interaction or struggling with feelings of isolation that can arise when seniors live alone.
Other considerations include:
- Can your parents manage their daily needs, like attending appointments, getting prescriptions, buying groceries or making nutritious meals?
- Are there areas of your Mom or Dad’s life that would benefit from extra support so they could be more independent?
- Are there any risks to their health and safety by remaining in their own home?
- Can your parents still make sound decisions about their health and well-being?
- Are they able to manage their own money and keep up with financial obligations, like bills and living expenses?
This isn’t an exhaustive list and there will be certain questions and considerations that will be unique to your Mom or Dad’s situation. There are no right or wrong answers either. But by being aware of your parents’ function and autonomy, you will be better equipped to gauge where they are on their journey of needing a more supportive care environment – whether now or into the future.
If you would like to know how to best support your parents in a late-in-life transition, an Accredited Senior Agent is a great resource. We have special training and expertise as it relates to seniors and their living options so you can make the best decision for your loved ones based on their circumstances.
To learn more, please contact me, Deborah Clerk, Real Estate Sales Representative and ASA at Keller Williams Realty Associates, Brokerage, in Mississauga, Ontario, for sound advice to guide your decision.