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

Moving Mom Monday: Moving Elderly Parents Into Your Home

In her article Moving Elderly Parents Into Your Home, author Mard Naman writes about the ten factors to consider before moving elderly parents in:

1. What kind of care will the person need?

What is the person’s physical and mental condition and what chronic illness does he or she have? These are the first questions you need to answer.

If he’s still relatively healthy and independent, this may be the ideal time to move him in. He can become accustomed to his new surroundings and will initially require little care from you or other family members. Your kids will get to know him while he’s still healthy.

2. How much assistance and supervision can you provide?

Caring for an aging relative is a great way to give back some of the love, care, and nurturing he gave to you.

– Be realistic about what you can and can’t do. Realize, too, that the level of assistance needed will most likely increase over time.

– Know your limits. If the person needs help with bathing, dressing, or going to the bathroom, are you comfortable helping? If he’s incontinent and the idea of changing a diaper makes you uncomfortable, you may need to find an in-home aide. On the other hand, maybe he’s just becoming more forgetful, and you’re really good at organizing his medications and helping him make sure to take them. Or perhaps you’re good at paperwork and can cut through red tape and help with his Medicare or health insurance forms.

– Consider your schedule. If you have a full-time job and young kids at home, consider the impact of taking in someone who needs a lot of assistance. If, for example, he needs help getting to the bathroom several times every night, you could soon be suffering from a major case of sleep deprivation. You may be reacting to a health crisis he has recently had, or thinking about the move as a preventive measure because he’s slowly losing the ability to take care of himself. In either case, think about whether you have the time and energy to take this on.

3. How well do you get along?

Look at the history of your relationship with your family member. If you enjoy each other’s company and can successfully resolve your differences, that’s a real plus. That doesn’t mean you can never argue or you have to be best friends.

4. Is your home older-adult-friendly, and if not, can you make it so?

Ideally, place an older adult on the first floor so he doesn’t have to climb any stairs. If that’s impossible, and he can’t handle stairs, you can consider putting in an automatic stair lift. For sources, search online for electric stair lifts.”

Read the rest of Moving Elderly Parents Into Your Home.

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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 an Elderly Parent to Live Nearby – Common and Complicated

In her Chicago Tribune article Moving an elderly parent to live nearby — common and complicated, author Barbara Brotman writes about the process, the complexity, and the inevitability of moving an elderly loved one to be near you:

“A friend is in the middle of the tense logistics of moving his elderly and ill father up from Florida to be near him. We talked about it – the process, the complexity, the inevitability – because I did the same with my mother.

And after the conversation, I found myself revisiting the experience.

It is one widely shared. My mother’s senior citizens’ residence is filled with people who moved there to be closer to their children. Several are parents of my friends.

But it isn’t an easy move. And the word “move” doesn’t seem quite right. It didn’t feel like a move to me; it felt like an evacuation.

My mother lived alone in New York; I am her only family. We had talked about what to do if she became unable to live alone. We had visited several assisted living facilities there and never taken it further.

But move to Chicago? She was a lifelong and fervent New Yorker. She wasn’t interested.

Until she fell, broke her shoulder and had to stay in a rehab facility for three months.

Where no matter how many weekends I flew in to visit, she was virtually alone.

And that was that. She could love New York all she wanted, but we both knew she had to move to Chicago.

And she had to move immediately.”

Read the rest of the article to find out what happened.

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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: Aging Parents With Lots of Stuff, and Children Who Don’t Want It

Baby Boomer Couple

In his New York Times article Aging Parents With Lots of Stuff, and Children Who Don’t Want It, author Tom Verde writes about the fact that the children of Baby Boomers don’t want their parents’ stuff:

“As baby boomers grow older, the volume of unwanted keepsakes and family heirlooms is poised to grow — along with the number of delicate conversations about what to do with them. According to a 2014 United States census report, more than 20 percent of America’s population will be 65 or older by 2030. As these waves of older adults start moving to smaller dwellings, assisted living facilities or retirement homes, they and their kin will have to part with household possessions that the heirs simply don’t want.

The competitive accumulation of material goods, a cornerstone of the American dream, dates to the post-World War II economy, when returning veterans fled the cities to establish homes and status in the suburbs. Couples married when they were young, and wedding gifts were meant to be used — and treasured — for life.

‘Americans spent to keep up with the Joneses, using their possessions to make the statement that they were not failing in their careers,’ wrote Juliet B. Schor, the Boston College sociologist, in her 1998 book, ”The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need.”

But for a variety of social, cultural, and economic reasons, this is no longer the case. Today’s young adults tend to acquire household goods that they consider temporary or disposable, from online retailers or stores like Ikea and Target, instead of inheriting them from parents or grandparents.”

Read the rest of the article

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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: How to Hire a Moving Company – Part Two

Two Seniors Holding Moving Boxes

In Part One of this series, we discovered three tips for hiring a moving company. Here are two more tips:

4. Review the estimate. This is your opportunity to get clarification and ask questions. Be sure to get any changes in writing. Verify how much the company will be moving, the distance it will be moved, the times your items will be picked up and delivered to your new home and the availability of additional services such as packing and supplies. This will reduce the chances of dealing with unexpected charges.

5. Get a written copy of the mover’s inventory list. Additionally, give the movers specific directions for getting to your home and exchange phone numbers in case you need to reach each other.

SOURCE

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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: How to Hire a Moving Company – Part One

Two Seniors Holding Moving Boxes

If you, or an aging loved one, are planning on moving, think about hiring movers to do the work for you. Moving companies reduce the stress of the moving process by transporting your belongings to your new place.  Some local movers specialize in ‘small moves’, great for seniors moving to senior living. Here are three tips for hiring a moving company:

1) Get referrals. If your family, friends or coworkers had a great experiene with a moving company, chances are you will, too. Ask around for names of two or three companies to consider. Be sure to get estimates for each.

2) Research online. Once you have your list of referred companies, research them online to make sure they are legitimate. Visit the American Moving Association’s website (moving.org) to see if the company is a member. Membership is voluntary and requires that members abide by the organization’s guidelines. Check review sites and social media to see what their customers say about them and if the companies have a history of customer complaints. Also, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website (fmcsa.dot.gov) and type in each company’s USDOT number to see if they are licensed and insured.

3) Get estimates in person. Many professionals may offer an estimate based on the number of rooms in a home; however, insist on an in-home estimate. Be sure to show them everything you want moved, including furniture, boxes and items that have not been packed yet so they can estimate the weight accurately.

If you’re moving to another state, ask for a written binding estimate or a binding not-to-exceed estimate, which will put a limit on what you will be expected to pay. If you’re moving within your state, the rules about estimates will vary by state. Visit your state’s website to learn more.

SOURCE

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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 My Kicking-And-Screaming Elderly Parents 1,600 Miles To Be With Me

Elderly Couple Walking Along Beach

Arlene Nisson Lassin writes about her experience of moving her elderly parents 1600 miles to Houston, Texas…a trip her Mom and Dad did not want to make.  But first, a brief history:

“I moved 1,600 miles away from my parents to Houston as a young adult. As their generation aged, and our other relatives scattered, I became increasingly worried about them being there still, somewhat isolated, without a close family member looking after them. They lived in their aging home all by themselves and tried mightily to keep it up.

Fortunately, my dad was a robustly healthy, mentally sharp man into his mid-eighties and he still drove a car, managed his household, cared for his wife. Being a social guy and wanting something to do with his time, for many years he worked as a greeter and mascot for a local grocery store part time up until the past couple of months. It gave him a place to go, something to do, and pocket change.

When you live far away from your elderly parents, you are always walking on eggshells, dreading a phone call of illness or injury. I got that call this winter – having just turned 87 years old, my dad had taken a tumble down the stairs of his house. The strong ox that he used to be dissipated with this accident, and he felt frail, vulnerable, and shaky enough where he didn’t want to drive any more.”

Read more about the process Arlene experienced moving her elderly parents to Houston.

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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: What Important Documentation Do You Need?

Senior couple packing a miving box

Whether buying, selling, or leasing, every locale has its standard real estate sales and purchase contracts, disclosures, and professional documentation. Beyond the basics, however, it is recommended that families take time to create contingency plans and compile important documents when assisting older adults, particularly if they are frail, undergoing medical treatments, or experiencing elevated stress during the transition process.

1. General Power of Attorney (POA): Transfers the legal authority to act on one’s behalf to another party.

2. Durable Power of Attorney: Transfers the legal authority to act on one’s behalf for any legal task.

3. Special, Specific, or Limited Power of Attorney: Grants a designated agent the authority to conduct a specific, designated function. *

4. Death Certificate and/or a Will: Likely to be requested by the closing agent, regardless of the title held, if any of the property owners are deceased.

5. Trust documents: These vary widely in terms of the powers granted to trustees. You will need to provide pertinent trust documentation to one’s real estate professional or title representative/closing agent when requested.

6. Abstract: A complete record of all matters of public record that affect ownership rights to a particular piece of real property.

7. Home repair history: Accuracy is important when completing property condition disclosures legally required when selling most residential property. By simply compiling receipts for recent major improvements or repairs in advance, the completion of otherwise lengthy forms can be expedited, relieving any unnecessary stress and frustration for already overwhelmed senior homeowners or family members.

* NOTE: Having a general or durable power of attorney may be sufficient for signing listing documents or negotiating sales contracts. However, some title insurance companies and closing agents require specific powers of attorney when deed transfers are involved. It is important to consult with a knowledgeable real estate professional with access to legal counsel or a trusted real estate attorney regarding the laws governing real estate conveyances in your area.

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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: 6 Tips for Touring Skilled Nursing Communities

Registered nurse comforts elderly woman patient

Skilled nursing communities (also referred to as “long-term care communities”) attract residents who are no longer able to live independently and need consistent medical assistance.

If you have a parent who needs this type of care, here are some suggestions that can help you appraise a skilled nursing community:

1. Visit the community on different days and at various times, including mealtimes. Take note of staff morale, resident activities and nursing staff levels.

2. Talk to members of the nursing staff about how long they have worked there.

3. Ask the nursing community administrators about staff-to-resident levels.

4. Obtain a copy of the most recent state survey to learn whether the community has been cited for deficiencies.

5. Ask if they have a plan of care for each resident, and if it is revised continually. Ask to see a sample copy of such plans.

6. Contact the local ombudsman organization and ask about the specific long-term care communities in the area.

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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