Moving Mom Monday: When Mom Moves In: Creating Boundaries and Expectations

Elderly Lady

In the article When Mom Moves In: Creating Boundaries and Expectations, author Elizabeth Pope suggests that combining households affects every member of today’s family: from toddlers to great-grandparents. Pre-planning, clear boundaries and open communication can help preserve harmony even under difficult circumstances. Here is some advice that can help:

Expectations and Communication. Moving a parent in with you changes the family dynamic and requires planning ahead and honest communication about ground rules and boundaries, says David Horgan, co-author of ‘When Your Parent Moves In’. ‘You can’t treat an elder like a house guest, always putting on ‘company manners’,’ Horgan says. ‘At the same time, you’ve got to preserve the core family’s unity while not making your parent feel useless or invisible. It’s a delicate balancing act, but have those hard conversations as soon as problems arise.’ Example: ‘Mom, sorry but we’re not having sit-down dinners every night.’

Horgan, whose late mother-in-law lived with his family for six years, says many adult children expect Grandma will be a live-in babysitter — only later realizing she needs care as her health declines. “If your parent has any medical or mental conditions, talk to doctors, visit local care facilities and find out everything you can about the prognosis of the disease,” he says. Before making the big move, consider moving in with your parent for a week or two to make sure you can manage his or her care on your own.

Getting the Help You Need. Home health care aides can help relieve over-taxed caregivers, but some aging parents resist outside help, warns Jody Gastfriend, vice president of Care Management at Care.com and LICSW (Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker). ‘Your mother may resist having a home health aide so you can go shopping’ she says. ‘Parents have the right to make bad decisions, but we don’t have to enable them. Be careful about sacrificing your own needs, because that often leads to resentment and burnout.” Family caregivers should also beware making a frail elder the focus of attention, ignoring a spouse or children.'”

Read more at When Mom Moves In: Creating Boundaries and Expectations.

===

DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Freedom Friday: 6 Ways to Pursue Your Passions

Row of Lightbulbs on blue backgroundIn the Next Avenue article, 6 Ways to Pursue Your Passions, author Rob Pascale suggests boomers come up with a list of the activities and pursuits that are personally meaningful, then go after them. But he advises that you take a close look at the real value of each activity you’re considering:

Set Priorities. ​This is a trial and error thing, and you are bound to fail at times. Don’t let your failures discourage you, because you can quickly become discouraged. If you never try and fail, you’ll never learn. Instead, if and when you fail, drop the activity, not the pursuit of new ones. Get some paper and a pencil, or however you like to write things down (I use my computer), and list the pros and cons for each activity. Note that it’s not just the count that matters, but the value of each pro and con.

Do Reality Checks. Sometimes we can get a little grandiose and bite off more than we can chew. Make sure the things you are considering require only the amount of energy you want to expend and are truly achievable — over-reaching can lead to failure, which can be demotivating. Reality checks can also include visualization. Imagine yourself doing a particular activity day in and day out. Are you enthusiastic about doing it today? How about tomorrow, a month from now, a year from now? Try to picture the kind of effort it will require and the problems you might run into along the way. Can you live with that?

Make Detailed Plans. ​Here is where things often fall apart. Without a real plan, things go nowhere. Write out the specific steps, in all the detail that’s needed, for achieving each goal. Detailed planning will give you a better idea as to whether what you’d like to do is realistic and achievable. ​​Planning should include doing research so you can get some ideas on how you can turn your interest into something you actually do. Take notes and maybe use them as the basis for a business plan. Once the steps are outlined, create a timeline, putting in the dates when each step will be completed.”

Read the rest at 6 Ways to Pursue Your Passions.

===

DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

SURVEY: Bigger House vs. Bigger Yard

Elegant Backyard in northern CA

Here in beautiful Contra Costa County we enjoy glorious weather most of the year. Outdoor living is becoming just as important as the indoors, according to a recent Taylor Morrison survey. Survey results found home buyers crave green space and more than half say they’d be willing to sacrifice living s/f  for a bigger yard.

The most important exterior features is distance from existing neighbors. Buyers of all ages believe breathing room is key, even beating curb appeal elements such as driveway, paint color and roofing finishes. Features such as outdoor ‘living rooms,’ retractable floor to ceiling glass walls, matching tiled flooring are helping to create today’s more outdoor-oriented homes. Interest in the great outdoors is stronger among women. The survey also shows having more yard is a consistent desire among parents and non-parents alike, as well as across generations.

So, when remodeling, you will want to keep this in mind. The next owner will appreciate it and possibly pay more for your property!

===

DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Moving Mom Monday: Is Independent Living Right for Your Parents?

Baby Boomer Couple

In the article Should Your Parents Consider Moving to Independent Living?, children of older parents learn the reasons why independent living is a good choice for active, healthy older adults who can get around on their own and don’t need help with activities of daily living:

“Most people living in independent living still drive, may be employed, have active lifestyles, and participate in the greater city community.

Seniors might consider independent living because they:

– Feel that maintaining their house is getting more and more difficult.

– Have shrinking social circles and are getting lonely.

– Have lost a spouse and feel that joining a community of people their own age would help them stay engaged in life and prevent loneliness.

– Want to move to be closer to their kids, but don’t want to live with them, don’t want the upkeep of a house, and do want to make new friends in their new city.”

Read more at Should Your Parents Consider Moving to Independent Living?.

===

DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Freedom Friday: How to Transform Your Hobbies Into New Opportunities

Sunflower in the Sunshine

In the Next Avenue article, Transform Your Hobbies Into New Opportunities, author Debbie Swanson suggests that “adding to your skills can help you make money and friends.”:

“If being in a classroom brings back memories of snoozing in a lecture hall, think again. The world of learning has exploded, with online and in-person classes available for many recreational pursuits. Several hobbies have measured levels of skill and proficiency: the martial arts belt system, certifications in scuba diving, achieving a master level in a pursuit such as gardening, beekeeping or — if you live in Wisconsin — cheesemaking. Adding formal training to your hobbies is not only fun, but may create avenues for side income, enhance your volunteer potential or expand your social circle.”

Here’s how one retiree in South Carolina honed his hobby skills into a new business:

“After retiring at 67 from his career managing textile and equipment manufacturing companies, Buddy May, of Greenville, S.C., delved into his interest in beekeeping. He became a Master Beekeeper with the South Carolina Beekeepers Association, as well as the only EAS (Eastern Apicultural Society) Certified Master Beekeeper in his home state. In 2017, May reached the Master Craftsman level, the highest level of the South Carolina program.

May’s farm produces honey, pollen and blueberries, and he’s active with a weekly farmers’ market. But May is especially stung by the chance to meet people and share his knowledge.

‘I lecture locally, and in other states,’ says May, who has also taught classes at Furman University’s OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) program. ‘It keeps my mind active, and learning more about the gracious insect.’

He’s also been published; May’s buzzy research appeared in the American Bee Journal in 2017 and he has an article coming out in Bee Culture magazine.”

Read more at Transform Your Hobbies Into New Opportunities.

===

DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Moving Mom Monday: Moving Aging Parents Into Your Home

In the Consumer Reports article Moving aging parents into your home, adult children will find advice on how to handle renovations, taxes, and dealing with your sibs:

“As our parents get older, many of us consider letting them move in with us. But the financial ramifications–including remodeling costs, reduced income, and the tax consequences–are often greater than people anticipate, says Bradley Frigon, an estate-planning attorney in Englewood, Colo. Here are some factors to consider before you extend an invitation:

Home-remodeling needs

If your house or apartment is too small to accommodate a parent, one option is to add space. But the cost can be substantial: A master-suite addition costs $111,245 on average, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report. Even if a major renovation isn’t required, you might need to make changes. For example, doorways should be 36 inches wide to accommodate a wheelchair or walker. Widening them can cost $500 to $5,000, depending on construction needs, says Bill Owens, a builder in Columbus, Ohio, who is a certified aging-in-place specialist, a designation given by the National Association of Home Builders. Or you can install swing-clear hinges, which allow doors to open entirely out of the door frame. Each hinge costs about $20 to $100.

An occupational therapist can assess the way your parent does everyday tasks to recommend renovations that will increase his or her safety. Projects might include additional lighting and adding grab bars. Ask your physician for a referral to an occupational therapist in your area. The average hourly wage is about $38, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Smart adaptions will help an elderly parent live safely in your home, and allow you to remain there as you get older.

Possible reductions in income

If your parent is still healthy, she can help around the house and contribute financially. But if she needs daily assistance and you decide to provide the care yourself, that usually requires taking time from work. For female caregivers 50 and older, the average amount of lost income, Social Security, and pension payments totals about $324,000, according to a 2011 MetLife study. For male caregivers 50 and older, the loss is $284,000.

A home health aide can provide such services as cooking, cleaning, reminding your parent to take medications, and taking him to appointments. They make a median of $20 per hour, according to the 2014 Genworth Cost of Care survey. Your local Area Agency on Aging office can help you find an aide, in-home skilled nursing care, and more.”

Read the rest at Moving aging parents into your home.

===

DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Moving Mom Monday: Moving to Assisted Living – Your Packing Checklist

Senior Couple with Moving Box

In the article Moving to Assisted Living: Your Packing Checklist, author Paula Spencer Scott provides advice on what to pack when moving to assisted living:

“What to bring? What to leave behind? If you’re moving your parents into assisted living, keep in mind that they’ll still use most of the same sorts of things they’re using now. But it’s important to remember that space is usually limited, so think smaller-scale with fewer items, senior relocation experts say. Focus on what will be used every day, as storage space is limited.”

Here are some ideas:

Furniture

– Bed (rent a comfortable hospital bed, or bring a bed with a familiar mattress)
– Nightstand (ideally with drawers and shelves)
– Seating (small sofa, chairs with arms, rocker; avoid chairs on casters)
– Small table(s) with storage, such as shelves or drawers
– Small kitchen table or drop-leaf table (a standard dining table is usually too big)
– Dresser (second dresser for storage may fit in closet for extra storage; drawers are often easier than hanging everything)

Housewares

– Microwave
– Mini fridge
– Dishes and glasses to use every day (but probably not settings for 10 or 12)
– Pots and pans (large and small pots and frying pans may be sufficient)
– Coffeemaker
– Hot pot
– Mixer
– Nice serving dish (if your loved one likes to cook, there will be entertaining and social opportunities)
– Bedding (two sets sheets, blankets, pillows, comforter — easier than a separate decorative bedspread)
– Bath towels
– Hangers
– Trash can(s)”

Read the rest of the list at Moving to Assisted Living: Your Packing Checklist.

===

DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Freedom Friday: Transform Your Hobbies Into New Opportunities

Sunflower in the Sunshine

In the Next Avenue article, Transform Your Hobbies Into New Opportunities, author Debbie Swanson suggests that “adding to your skills can help you make money and friends.”:

“If being in a classroom brings back memories of snoozing in a lecture hall, think again. The world of learning has exploded, with online and in-person classes available for many recreational pursuits. Several hobbies have measured levels of skill and proficiency: the martial arts belt system, certifications in scuba diving, achieving a master level in a pursuit such as gardening, beekeeping or — if you live in Wisconsin — cheesemaking. Adding formal training to your hobbies is not only fun, but may create avenues for side income, enhance your volunteer potential or expand your social circle.”

Here’s how one retiree in South Carolina honed his hobby skills into a new business:

“After retiring at 67 from his career managing textile and equipment manufacturing companies, Buddy May, of Greenville, S.C., delved into his interest in beekeeping. He became a Master Beekeeper with the South Carolina Beekeepers Association, as well as the only EAS (Eastern Apicultural Society) Certified Master Beekeeper in his home state. In 2017, May reached the Master Craftsman level, the highest level of the South Carolina program.

May’s farm produces honey, pollen and blueberries, and he’s active with a weekly farmers’ market. But May is especially stung by the chance to meet people and share his knowledge.

‘I lecture locally, and in other states,’ says May, who has also taught classes at Furman University’s OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) program. ‘It keeps my mind active, and learning more about the gracious insect.’

He’s also been published; May’s buzzy research appeared in the American Bee Journal in 2017 and he has an article coming out in Bee Culture magazine.”

Read more at Transform Your Hobbies Into New Opportunities.

===

DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Moving Mom Monday: Helping Aging Parents Who Don’t Want Help

In the Forbes article Helping Aging Parents Who Don’t Want Help, author Carolyn L. Rosenblatt, RN, BSN, PHN reports that, “Pride, fear, unwillingness to accept the realities of aging, and extreme discomfort with change are some of the reasons aging parents refuse help when they really need it.”

What can adult children do to convince their parents to accept help? Here are some ideas:

If feasible, we always encourage a family meeting, including not only adult children, but caring others as well. A best friend may hold more sway in convincing a stubborn parent to think about safety than “the kids.” (What do they know anyway?) Clergy, or someone the aging parent looks up to and respects, can be invaluable in persuading a change of heart.

A doctor’s input can be quite helpful. Our elders may trust and believe their doctors and take their direction seriously. We encourage asking the doctor to see the aging parent and to strongly advise a move or other step the parent can take to reduce the risk of living alone.

As responsible adult children, we can check out suitable alternative living situations in advance and ask the aging parent to visit with us. ‘Just have lunch and see the place’ is a first step. Most such facilities will gladly serve you lunch and show you around, introducing an aging parent to other residents.

Marketing directors at assisted living facilities can be useful in helping an aging parent with the often difficult transition. However, beware of the sales pitch. They want to match the facility to the prospect, but there can be tremendous pressure on them to fill empty apartments. It is important to understand the legal limits of assisted living. Know them if you are considering it as an option for your parent.”

Read more at Helping Aging Parents Who Don’t Want Help.

===

DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Freedom Friday: How Senior Couples Can Retire Without Drama

Baby Boomer Couple in Retirement

In the U.S. News & World Report article, How Senior Couples Can Retire Without Drama, author Maryalene LaPonsie writes that worlds collide when senior couples retire and are suddenly together 24/7:

“You’ve clocked out of work for the final time and are heading home to your spouse. The kids have left the nest, which means it will be just the two of you. Sounds like the beginning of a second honeymoon, right?

However, the reality can be much different. A 2017 report from the Pew Research Center found gray divorce – that is, divorce after age 50 – increased 109 percent from 1990 to 2015. Even couples who stay together may find their remaining years marked by conflict.”

Fortunately, spousal conflict after retirement is not a given. Couples can head off trouble by being proactive and open-minded about their next stage of life.

Start the discussion early. Spouses can become resentful if they have plans for retirement that don’t align with those of their husband or wife. Clear communication is essential to creating realistic expectations about what life will be like post-work. Unfortunately, many couples wait too long to have these talks.

Have a purpose for retirement. Exploring new interests before retirement can help couples determine the goals or pursuits they will have after leaving the workforce. Jared Snider, senior wealth advisor at Exencial Wealth Advisors in Oklahoma City, says his most successful retired couples have clearly defined purposes for both themselves and their relationship. ‘They have thought it out ahead of time,’ he says.

Have a budget for retirement. Money issues can be the cause of significant strife in some marriages. ‘You’ll have one spouse that lives for the moment, and the other that doesn’t want to throw a nickel around,’ says Chris Heerlein, investment advisor representative and partner at REAP Financial in Austin, Texas.”

Read more tips at How Senior Couples Can Retire Without Drama.

===

DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582