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.

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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.

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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: Benefits of Living Smaller

Senior Couple with Moving Box

In the article Downsizing Tips For Seniors & Boomers, author Jeff LaBombard offers advice on some of the recent housing trends as well as general guidelines for beginning the downsizing process:

“Some retirees still opt for Senior Living Communities or smaller spaces like apartments and condos. No matter what form downsizing takes, there are some key points to consider. Jeff Reeves outlined these points in an article for USA Today. He encourages the following:

Consider the taxes. Income and property taxes vary widely depending on where you live. Do some research before moving. For those on a budget, it is wise to choose an area with lower tax rates.

Public Transportation. Is there housing available in an area that also provides public transportation? This can eliminate the need for multiple – or even any – car payments and maintenance services.

Health Care. It is important to choose an area that offers access to doctors and other health services within the network of your insurance.

Overhead. When choosing a smaller place to live, consider the overhead. While this new place mows the grass and shovels the snow for you, is the cost of those services budget friendly?

Look Beyond the Price Tag. While cost is a major factor for those on a reduced or limited income, it’s not the only factor. It is important to maintain social and community ties – be it friends and family, familiar stores, or a regular doctor.

Check With A Local Realtor. One of the road blocks today is the housing market itself. The Baby Boomer generation matured in a time when building equity in a home came easily and they “traded-up” from their starter homes to something bigger and better. However, the current housing market might not be in their favor if they choose to sell. Forbes.com reports that the Gen-Xers are not ‘trading up’ like their predecessors. Changes to the financial landscape created a plateau in their careers, forcing them to shoulder the brunt of the recent economic downturn. They are working to maintain what they have, not invest in something bigger. As for the Millennials, home ownership in general a possibility, but not a probability. Burdened with school loan debt and a poor job market, they don’t want or can’t afford home ownership. This ripple effect through the generations can have a direct impact on Seniors and Baby Boomers as they hope to sell their large home for top dollar while searching for an affordable smaller home.”

Read more at Downsizing Tips For Seniors & Boomers.

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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: How to Talk to Your Parents About Moving Out of Their Big, Beautiful House

Elderly Couple Sitting on a Couch

In the Time article How to Talk to Your Parents About Moving Out of Their Big, Beautiful House, author Penelope Wang offers advice on how to have a tricky family conversation that has real financial impact:

“As your parents get older, chances are they’re going to want to stay in their own homes, rather than move to a condo or retirement community — most people do. But aging in place may not be a realistic option. What if one, or both, can no longer get up the stairs — or drive to the store? If finances are tight, an expensive remodeling job, or a move closer to town, may not be possible.

It’s an awkward subject to bring up. But if you’re starting to worry about your parents, open the conversation now. The best time to make changes is well before a crisis happens.

OPENING LINE

‘I’ve always loved this house, and I know you do too. Is there anything I can help you with to keep it in good shape?’

Start by acknowledging your parents’ feelings about their home. Take the time to reminisce about family gatherings and shared history before segueing into the physical and financial challenges of maintaining their home. ‘It will help to have suggestions about how you can make things easier for them,’ says Rodney Harrell, director of livable communities at AARP — whether tasks that you take over or simple modifications that will make their home safer.

TALKING POINTS

‘You’re spending a lot of money to keep up your house, and you have a lot of equity in it. Have you thought about selling and using that cash to move somewhere more comfortable?’

Older adults with paid off mortgages, especially those living in high-cost areas, may have a lot of equity built up in their homes, says Vince DiLeva, a financial advisor in Redondo Beach, Calif. Many seniors could tap that equity by downsizing, perhaps to an easier-to-maintain condo or a continuing care retirement community that offers services they need.

If the notion of moving may not appeal to your mom and dad at first, offer to take them on a tour of retirement communities — there may be one nearby where they already have friends. Look for options that feature activities that your parent enjoys — communities that boast movies or restaurants within walking distance, for instance, or that make regular excursions to the theater.

‘One major advantage of a retirement community is the ease of socializing,’ says McGraw. ‘Seniors can make new friends and try out new activities, while they may end up isolated at home.'”

Read more at How to Talk to Your Parents About Moving Out of Their Big, Beautiful House.

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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: When and How to Coax Your Parent to Move Closer

Elserly Man in Wheelchair Sitting Next to Caregiver

In the Next Avenue article When and How to Coax Your Parent to Move Closer, author MP Dunleavey writes about her experience of being a long-distance caregiver to her elderly father:

“Eight years ago, my dad moved to a tiny town in New Mexico after nearly four decades in New York City. Then an active 73-year-old retiree, he yearned for a taste of mythic Southwest living, four acres and a dog.

But what seemed like an almost exotic locale when my husband and I first visited him (‘Look, a tumbleweed!’) is now a growing source of worry and expense for my family as well as for my brother and his wife.

There are no direct flights to my father’s area from our homes in New York and Connecticut, so it’s an 11-hour schlep. It costs about $1,200 for my husband, son and me to fly there, so it’s not like we can afford to just pop in whenever Dad needs us.

Last fall, Dad was hospitalized with abdominal pains that turned out to be related to old scar tissue. The discomfort quickly passed. But those 24 hours that my family and I were in emergency mode provoked a freight train of angst and impulsive ‘solutions’ and drove home the strains of long-distance caregiving: the hastily booked flights, the need to schedule time off from work, lost sleep, phone calls to nearby assisted living centers and on and on.”

What the Experts Recommend

Here are four tips from caregiving pros:

1. Do a cost-benefit analysis of the move (one that’s not wholly financial). While long-distance caregiving can be expensive and stressful, in some cases, it might be wiser for your mom or dad not to relocate. The quality of medical care may be better where they are and their social life might be richer, compared with moving to a new area.

2. Factor in the personal and economic cost to you of having a parent nearby. Yes, you may spend less on travel after your mom or dad relocates, but you’re likely to devote a lot more time assisting him or her. Caregivers who live near their relatives spend an average of almost 40 hours a week looking after them. That’s like holding down a second job.”

Read more tips at When and How to Coax Your Parent to Move Closer.

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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: Should You Move To Be Closer To Your Aging Parents?

Elderly Man with Nurse in Assisted Living Setting

In the Next Avenue article Should You Move to Be Closer to Your Aging Parents?, author Deb Hipp offers the advice that long-distance caregiving is tough, but moving to be near parents is a big step. Consider these realities:

Aging Parents and Unrealistic Expectations. Caregivers who provide unpaid care for at least 21 hours per week report the highest stress of all caregiving groups, according to a 2015 report by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. The typical high-hour caregiver provides care ‘for an average of five years and expects to continue care for another five years,’ the report found.

Moving Won’t Heal Old Wounds. Moving may be acceptable if you have a good relationship with your parents and time and resources to spend with your mom and dad – as long as they’re in favor of the move. However, don’t expect to heal a lifetime of conflict by swooping in to save the day.

You Give Up Your Whole Self. Even though Sara Tapscott knows that she didn’t have the resources and physical ability to move and take on full-time care giving for her parents, she’ll always struggle with her decision.
‘If I had a dollar for every tear I shed in guilt, I could have hired 15 caregivers,’ says Tapscott. She and her sister alternated visits to Des Moines until her mother Mary died in 2004. Tapscott even bought a handicapped-accessible van to transport her dad when she visited. In 2006, she moved Leo into a nursing home in Kansas City near her home. ‘He only lasted three weeks,’ says Tapscott. ‘There’s so much guilt if you don’t do it. But you also realize you give up your whole self to move, and in the long run, I didn’t think my parents would have wanted that. I went back and forth about it until they died,’ says Tapscott. ‘I still do.’”

Read more at Should You Move to Be Closer to Your Aging Parents?.

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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 a Parent to Assisted Living – 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition

Mother and Daughter at Assisted Living Facility

In the article Moving a Parent to Assisted Living: 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition, author Liz O’Donnell writes that moving a parent, even a willing one, into assisted living, or any senior living facility, is fraught with emotion:

“Your parents may mourn the loss of their younger years, their independence, the home they built. They could be scared about aging, making new friends, finding their way in a new place.

You may be mourning all of those things too. You may second-guess your decision. Did we act too quickly? Overreact? Wait too long? And you will feel guilt. Guilt is inevitable. Know that all of these feelings are normal and don’t need to last forever.”

12 strategies to keep in mind as you make the transition:

1. Give it time. Senior living experts say it typically takes between three and six months for someone to adjust to assisted living. That’s an average. It might be quicker; it may take longer. Stay focused on the reasons you made the decision (safety, health, security, sanity). Keeping the big picture in mind will help you through the rough patches.

2. Visit often, or not for two weeks. Only you know your parent, so only you can decide how best to assist them through the early weeks of the move. Many experts will tell you to visit as often as possible. Frequent visits can ease any stress your parent may have that they will be abandoned or lonely. It might be easier for them to meet people at activities or in the dining room if they have a companion with them. But if your parent is calling you several times a day, staying in their room, and waiting for you to show up and keep them company, you may need to give them some space in order to encourage them to branch out. When I went to college my parents wouldn’t let me come home to visit for the first few weeks. By forcing me to stay at school on the weekends, they forced me to make friends. Tough love – it can work both ways.

3. It takes a village. Mobilize yours. When we first moved my mother into assisted living, my sisters and I could not visit for a week or two. We had been staying with her before the move and needed to get back to work. Plus, our father was in the hospital. So I called my relatives and asked them to visit in our absence. Just as parenting takes a village, so does daughtering.

4. Expect setbacks. Just when you think you are over the hump and your parent is settling in, things will change. They will tell you they are lonely. They will decide they don’t like their new dining hall friends. They will ask to go home. These moments are heart wrenching but knowing that they are normal and that they will pass, can help get you through them.

Read more strategies at Moving a Parent to Assisted Living: 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition.

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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: Why More Baby Boomers Are Moving Back to the Cities

In the article Reverse Migration: How Baby Boomers Are Transforming City Living, author Clare Trapasso writes about how baby boomers are choosing to move back to city living:

“Instead of migrating south en masse to retirement communities in the Sunshine State or the wilds of Arizona, more and more baby boomers—a particularly urban-savvy group of Americans—are moving back to the metro areas they abandoned when they began raising families. And in leaving their suburban homesteads, these empty nesters are redefining the urban centers they now call home. Again.”

Reasons why boomers are choosing city living include:

  • Sick of the suburbs. Tired of maintaining a big house in the boonies.
  • Want convenient transportation
  • Want to be in close proximity to health care providers
  • Want condos with concierge services
  • Want to be close to restaurants, shops, and cultural venues such as museums and theaters

Read the rest at Reverse Migration: How Baby Boomers Are Transforming City Living.

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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: Should Your Parents Consider Moving to Independent Living?

Some seniors feel that moving out of a home they’ve lived in for decades automatically means they’re losing their independence.

But independent living is almost the opposite of that. It’s about making it easier and more fun to live on their own.

What is independent living?

Independent living is housing that’s designed exclusively for people over age 55. It can range from apartments to houses, but they’re all designed to be senior-friendly. This usually means they’re smaller, easier to get around in, and don’t require maintenance or yard work.

Many independent living communities also offer extras, like:

  • Group meals
  • Transportation
  • Housekeeping and laundry service
  • Security and staff available 24/7
  • Recreational centers or clubhouses
  • Organized activities like arts & crafts, holiday parties, classes, movie nights
  • Facilities like a pool, fitness center, tennis court, golf course

Who is independent living right for?

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.
  • Are having a more difficult time with driving, which limits activities.
  • 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 about the advantages of independent living at DailyCaring.com.

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DAYNA WILSON: 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 Tips for Seniors

Baby Boomer Couple with Moving Professionals

More than 12 percent of the American population is over the age of 65 and an estimated 1.5 million “senior” Americans will move into new residences this year.

Mayflower has been moving household goods across the country since 1927. The company offers some Moving Tips for Seniors that can help you execute a smooth move:

Take inventory. As soon as you decide to move (even before you put your house on the market), begin taking inventory of everything in your home. Start with the most remote corner of the basement and work your way through the entire house until you reach the peak of the attic.

Will it fit? You will most likely need to scale down the number of belongings you take to your new home. Compare the size of your new space with your old space. Will all of the belongings you plan to take fit? Visualize where your current possessions will go and then decide what to do with those pieces that probably will not fit.

Declutter your curio. Inevitably, many of us gather considerable collections over the years, some of which can be distributed among family or sold for supplemental moving funds. Ask family and friends about taking sentimental pieces and then consider selling or donating additional items to cut moving costs.

Keep emotions in check. The emotional impact of changing one’s lifestyle, parting with objects from the past and going through a house full of belongings — and memories — is hard work, both mentally and physically. Make sure there is enough time allotted to review possessions and to adjust to the idea of moving. Realistic decisions also need to be made regarding how much packing and moving should be done without the help of a professional.”

Read more Moving Tips for Seniors.

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DAYNA WILSON: 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