When first starting a family, many young couples face a similar dilemma: buy a starter home and graduate into a larger home later on when the need arises, or buy a larger house than you initially need and grow into it? Choosing a home for your parent later in their life is really no different.
Some senior living facilities meet only your parent’s short-term needs of room and board and minimal care, while others meet a more comprehensive set of needs and accommodate any changes in care that your parent might require.
While time may seem of the essence, it is important to patiently evaluate your options and pick a comfortable home that will provide your parent with a long and healthy life. Often this means the long-term needs will outweigh any short-term solutions.
Here are three reasons why:
1. Change Happens
As we age, our bodies can become more susceptible to illness and the likelihood of accidents increases. Not everyone experiences a major health issue later in life, but the risks are real. For that reason, it is important to factor in the possibility of change.
If your parent’s health does dramatically decline, how will their new home adapt to that change? If your loved one now needs a wheelchair or an adjustable bed, will they need to change rooms? Will you need to pay extra for additional care? Will your parent need to relocate to another building or move to another facility entirely? The staff at the facilities you’re looking into should be able to answer these questions, and knowing the answers can help you determine a plan of action.
For some, the need for memory care may be the deciding factor. If your parent is in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s, picking a home that is capable of providing increased care for your loved one is extremely important.
2. Moving is Stressful
Your parents are likely to experience a change in their physical or mental health as they age, and if their current care team is not able to adapt to those changes, you may have to move your parent to another facility.
Moving a parent when they’re relatively healthy is stressful enough. Now imagine how much more stressful it will be if you need to move your parent when he or she is in declining health. The anxiety, uncertainty, and emotional moments can easily overwhelm the process. Choosing a home that can easily adjust to your parent’s increased care needs will alleviate the need to move again.
3. You’ll Save Money
Moving, apart from adding stress to your parent, can also be quite expensive. Lease agreements are not always easily broken and may mean extra costs on top of any increased medical expenses.
A home with a deeply experienced care team can provide any increased care needs as they occur. That means your loved one will not have to move and you will not need to shell out extra money to prematurely end an existing lease and start new living arrangements.
The benefit of moving now may solve short-term issues, but it is important to consider the long-term value. Your parents have lived a long and happy life and should be able to enjoy their senior years knowing that they can receive any care they may require.