WSJ: Senior Living Transition Requires Planning

Giving older adults more say in their future housing arrangement and advanced planning are ways to ease the stress of moving for older adults, The Wall Street Journal writes in a recent article

Starting the conversation early allows more time for loved ones to weigh in on housing options, but these discussions take effort — for both the person moving and his or her family members.

“Scratch the skin of a 60-year-old man and you’ll get a seven-year-old child, and scratch the skin of a 60-year-old daughter, and you’ll get daddy’s little girl every time,” Larry Minnix, president of LeadingAge, tells WSJ.

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And some older parents may refuse the conversation all together.

Minnix offers advice for family members when broaching the topic of new living situations with older loved ones, noting the distinction between saying “seeking input” and “we want to do the best job in carrying out your wishes.”

The latter puts the reigns in the older adult’s hands, giving them more confidence.

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In addition, adult children need to plan also, Bobbie Guidry, director of housing and community-based services for the Benedictine Health System, tells WSJ.

“Families should sit down and talk about who is playing what part: Who is going to help with the move, who is going to help with the finances, and who can visit when,” Guidry says.

Other advice includes setting up the new living space for the older adult before he or she moves in to make the residence as homey as possible, Guidry says.

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For family members welcoming an older adult into their home, be realistic about the impact that new resident will have on finances and lifestyle, advises Gail Hunt, president of the National Alliance for Caregiving.

Read the full article here.

Written by Cassandra Dowell

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