This post was written by Hazel Bridges of agingwellness.org
Perhaps you’ve realized that your senior loved one can no longer complete daily tasks alone, and you find yourself wondering whether you should move to this person’s location to provide care. Alternately, you could ask them to move in with you. You could also consider in-home care through Ohana Care or an assisted living situation for an aging relative with significant medical needs.
According to the National Institute on Aging, many seniors choose to age in place rather than move out as they grow older. Learn more below about when it’s time to consider moving closer to your loved one, as well as guidance for navigating this process.
When Is It Time to Move Closer?
You may feel the urge to move closer to your relative if they have expressed anxiety about living alone — yet they also do not want to relocate. Perhaps there is an emotional attachment to a family home, a preference for a city or town, or a social group that ties your loved one to a particular place.
If your loved one has trouble completing everyday tasks and does not want to move into an assisted living facility or a new town, you may want to consider moving closer. After all, many seniors have lived their entire lives in one town or for many years in one house. If you feel that it would be easier to relocate rather than ask your aging relative to do so, this may be the best option for everyone involved.
3 Guidelines for Your Move
If you’ve decided to move, you’ll need to consider your current living situation as well as your end goal while you factor in the best cities and schools for your family. Think about the following guidelines before, during, and after moving day.
Find a Home and Get Preapproved for a Mortgage
If you are moving a long distance, find a time to visit complete preapproval paperwork for a mortgage. This doesn’t mean that you must immediately buy a home, and it doesn’t mean you can’t stay at your loved one’s home for a month while you go house hunting. However, getting preapproved will make your moving process more manageable and less stressful as you will know how much money you can borrow for a loan.
Consider Whether Both You and Your Loved One Need to Move
You may find yourself in a situation in which you are considering moving — but it is your loved one who needs to relocate to a one-story home instead of a split-level house for safety reasons. Find a compromise by selecting a suitable home for both of you to live in within the town that your family prefers.
Seek Counseling to Deal With the Transition
Your loved one may initially resist the idea of a mental health checkup — especially if they feel like there’s nothing wrong. However, attending a counseling session or two may be helpful in dealing with the transition of you moving closer, not being able to live independently anymore, or having to choose new living arrangements.
There are no hard and fast rules for moving closer to family. Instead, do what you feel is best for everyone involved, and don’t be afraid to speak directly with your loved one to determine their wishes.