Working with seniors and their children has taught me one thing — moving from a long time home is one of the most difficult moves you can make, especially when age has dictated that move! Many of my articles over the years have focused on planning for the future, seeking out advice so that you are prepared for life’s changes and making sure you avoid crisis management. For some, planning is in their nature and those fortunate people avoid many of life’s difficulties as well as escape crisis management.
When Parents Need Urgent Help With Their Move
Most of us we react to life’s challenges, waiting for the inevitable and then begin our action plans based on the challenge at hand. All too often, the calls my wife Jeanne and I receive are more like 911 calls needing immediate attention and action as a crisis has inspired the caller to seek out our help. The person on the other end of the call is more often the child of a senior who needs immediate help with mom or dad who has had a health change that may mean a move from their parent’s long time home. The reason we are receiving the majority of calls from the child instead of the senior is partly due to the ‘great recession’ which began in 2006. Yes we are coming out of the real estate downturn, but far too many of us stayed in the home when a move was necessary for health and lifestyle reasons. Many of you decided to ‘wait out’ the recession until home prices rebounded which left far too many older adults in increasingly unhealthy situations. The home that you loved for so many years that was a labor of love slowly morphed into a labor!
I would love to think all of you who have read my articles over the last 10 years have acted on my advice by preparing for the time when a move to a new home is the best answer to your ever-changing lives. Experience has taught me that giving advice is one thing but I have come to understand human nature will do just about anything to avoid change — especially moving from a long time home. In my new book, “Guiding Our Parents in the Right Direction”, I talk about the dynamics of this change and how families can better cope with the move when planning for the most part has not occurred and this change is at your family’s doorstep. Family dynamics are complex and replete with differing viewpoints as to what should be done when an immediate move is necessary. A child of the senior feels that they are not doing enough or don’t know what it is they should do or where to begin to help mom or dad. This can feel like guilt and add to the emotional mix of feelings from the past between siblings who need to come together at this critical time. The parent feels that they are placing an unwanted burden on their children and will do anything to avoid adding to their children’s already busy lives.
Therefore, planning for any event in your lives can be a great sound bite, but living reality is another. Whether you are the parent who is faced with an immediate move, or the child who wants to help mom or dad navigate through this complex process, know there is plenty of help at hand. Know that professionals are ready to assist your family with all of the services you will need. These service providers are available and ready to assist your families through this difficult time by offering the right advice at a critical time in your lives. The point of this article is to let you know that whether you are the child or the senior moving, you are not alone. You are part of the fabric of life that has a common thread which is rich in texture and color and complex in design. You are not alone and know that there is help at hand. Your family will get through this process if you let others help guide you. Professionals are ready to assist and provide the information you need at this critical time. These service providers include: elder law attorneys, financial advisors, social workers, senior real estate specialists, downsizing and packing companies, estate sale companies, contractors, movers and many others. It is critical that you find referrals from those who have already used these companies so that you get the best information possible. Trying to navigate this move on your own is not recommended. By seeking out the right advice and direction from those who offer the advice and services you need, you will get through this challenge in the best way possible. If a moving change is at your doorstep, remember these words as you enter; you are not alone!