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How to Know If It's Time to Move In and Care for an Older Loved One       printable version
13 Sep 2022: posted by the editor - Features, Health, United States

By Janet Campbell

According to a recent AARP study, 90% of Americans over 65 want to stay in their homes as they age. Some can accomplish it solo, but others need additional help to age in place. The following guide explains how to tell if it's time for you to move in with an older loved one.

Watch for Signs
Regular visits with your older parents or other loved ones are essential so you notice if their behavior or physical abilities decline. For example, withdrawing from activities they love, neglecting their appearance, and isolating from family and friends are signs of needing additional care. Other clues are physical problems such as falls, memory issues, or the inability to do household tasks.

Make an appointment with the older adult's primary care doctor for tests to determine if a physical ailment is causing the problems. Perhaps a new medication or therapy can solve the issue. Next, visit a neurologist for a cognitive assessment and recommendations for treatment. These medical visits help you decide if simple changes can be made to keep your loved ones alone in their home or if it's time for you to move in and assist with their care.

Modifying Their Home
Modifications to a home may be necessary so someone can continue to live alone. Caring Senior Service notes that installing smart home devices can automate many processes for older people. You can also hire professionals to take over some maintenance tasks, such as housekeeping and landscaping. Arrange to have any repairs done to the home to keep it in good shape, as well as keep it safe and secure for the entire family. Reach out to Meals on Wheels America to have a nutritious meal delivered on weekdays so seniors don't have to cook every day.

Finally, be sure to keep track of all the home updates you make. Keep receipts for any work that’s completed and take before-and-after photos; the information could come in handy if you need an appraisal in the near future.

Making the Right Move
If it is evident your older loved ones can no longer safely live in their home on their own, you may need to move closer and assist in their care. First, speak with a senior care advisor to determine if moving to an assisted living facility is necessary or if home care is an option. Then, have an honest discussion with your loved ones so you can agree on what living option will work best for all of you. 

If you decide to move in and help with care, here are a few tips to keep you sane during the moving process:

  • Decide if you want to sell your furniture or pay to have it moved.
  • Go through all your possessions and decide what items are essential enough to take with you and sell or donate the rest.
  • Make sure you clearly label your boxes so you know exactly where everything is. This can make it easier to unpack once you’ve arrived.
  • Consider renting a movable portable storage container instead of a moving truck to have your belongings transported. 
  • Arrange a fun packing party with your friends to make the task more enjoyable.

Once you are settled in your loved one's home, make an effort to meet the neighbors and get out and explore your new city. 

Watching for signs of failing health and doing medical assessments helps you determine if an older loved one can safely age in place alone or if you need to move in and help. 

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Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe.”
John Milton

                                                     Origins of Poverty
When man came on earth he did not live in a society or hierarchy nor was he endowed with poverty. Good health, longevity, natural cheerfulness were his own even as he found himself amidst plenty. Like other species he lived or perished as the external resources permitted but he lived or perished as a group. Only when the society organised itself into a hierarchy, it was possible for one layer to exist while another persisted during times of scarcity. Organised ways of living, knowledge of all descriptions, systems created for comfort etc. interfered with the natural living of MAN in hundreds of ways. With the passing of time these stratifications of society come to stay and even create a psychology by which even the victim takes his victimization for granted. No question arises in his mind. ...

Had not the society organised itself in such a way that segments of it are protected and other segments were defenseless, MAN would have remained as MAN and would not have been bifurcated into poor and rich.

r

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“Man was always destroying things, and beautiful things.
At the time they wouldn’t seem beautiful.
It was only afterwards that men felt pity for the things their hands had destroyed.”

  Walter Macken — The Scorching Wind

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