Saturday, September 27, 2008

Caring For Our Retired Parents

I've a sinking feeling that my parents' health may require my siblings and me to step in and relocate our parents from their home to some kind of assisted living arrangement in the near future. I hope not right away, because both want to stay in their home. If they do need assistance, we hope that it can be some kind of in-home care. But, Pop was just diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and needs full time oxygen support and Mom will be having hip replacement surgery on October 29th and will be living temporarily in a nursing home, afterwards.

Ellen James Martin just wrote a piece titled How to help retired parents prepare for a sale.
They're pre-boomers, usually 75 or older. They've lived in their current home for a couple of decades or longer. But an adverse health event — perhaps a broken hip or a cancer diagnosis — means they must sell their home and move. To whom do they turn for support during this difficult transition? Nearly always, it's their grown children.
Michael Dean, a real estate broker who specializes in the senior market, notes that things can change quickly with our parents and he recommends tackling the problem as soon as you know they must move.

The article offers some pointers for people helping their elder parents prepare for a major move:
  • Acknowledge your parents' deep attachment to their home.
  • If your parents have been in the house for a long time, it will be difficult to decide what to keep and what to sell or give away.
  • Be careful with the decluttering process, if done by the children, for it can lead to family disagreements. It might be best to hire a professional.
  • Assure your parents you'll honor belongings they consider precious.
  • An estate sale may be a good idea, however your parents may be offended at how their possessions are displayed and handled.
  • The stager may want to update the house and that could ruffle your parents feathers.
As we boomers get older, we may experience these kinds of situations while caring for our aging parents. This is a time for tact and quiet persuasion, rather than demands.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery
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