photo of daughter whispering some serious issue to her old motherDad passed away many years ago. Mom is 79 and very active. She golfs, plays mahjong, exercises and, of course, plays with her grandkids. Although we’re grateful Mom is healthy, we’re also  concerned because she now lives all alone in the large house we grew up in.

My siblings and I have noticed some changes in Mom. We were caught off guard during Sunday dinner, when she asked us, “Should I move? I don’t really feel safe living alone. Where would be the best place for me to live?”

We all just looked at each other. We all agreed that Mom’s safety and needs are priority No. 1. But what was the best answer to her question?

Here are five topics to consider when having a proactive conversation with loved ones about a potential move:

  • Physical Needs. Will my current home fit my needs for the remainder of my life? Do I have too many stairs to climb? What home renovations may be needed to accommodate all the stages of care I may require? Who is equipped and trained to help when advanced healthcare is needed? If my home isn’t the best place for me, what are my options? If it is determined that aging in place at home will not be possible, a move will be the next likely step. Senior living options include retirement communities, continuing-care retirement communities, assisted living facilities, senior co-housing communities, senior home-sharing, nursing homes or other facilities, depending on the level of care needed now or expected in the future.
  • Cognitive/Mental. Am I in an environment that will encourage my thirst for knowledge and continued growth? Will I be able to stay at home if my memory declines? Will I even be able to make my own decisions later in life? How can I plan now, in case I can’t later?
  • Emotional/Social. Will I be able to spend time with my friends and loved ones?
  • Financial. What options exist for the budget we have to work with?
  • Family Dynamics. How can I leave a legacy for my family?

Consider your answers to these questions and then begin your research. Knowing your choices can help make the process much easier.

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