Whether your parents are still fully independent or require some living assistance, there comes a point when they are no longer capable of maintaining the family home and it becomes more suitable for them to make that big move to a retirement home. This can be daunting for them, as it is a big change and reminds them of the inevitable fact of aging.
However, they may still have the best years of their life ahead of them and choosing the right retirement home can ensure that they settle in nicely and continue to live life on their own terms. The easier it is for them to move, the more likely they’ll be on board and looking forward to this new chapter in their life. So, make sure to plan to help this transition occur smoothly for all involved.
Here are some tips to help you prepare your parent for the big move:
1. Discuss the Budget
The first step to ensure a smooth moving process is to sit down with your parent and discuss financial budgets. They may believe they’ll have plenty of spare cash once they move and sell their home or, alternatively, they may think retirement living is unaffordable. Either way, they need to know the reality of the costs involved and be ready to live within their means after the move occurs.
Knowing their budget and what their money is going towards in terms of living costs can help them settle in more comfortably. They will likely feel more in control and can maintain a sense of independence, rather than having you take over.
2. Rent Vs Owning
Another important item to discuss is whether your parent would rather rent a space in a retirement home or own a home in a retirement community. Explain to them what is going on in the property market and help them make the best decision for their future. You should consider their ability to maintain the home, as well as their health, should they decide to own rather than rent.
Renting to start may be an ideal option as they will know that, if they really dislike their new home, they can easily move. However, others would rather own their home and have the stability and option to decorate and modify their space to make it their own. Either way, you need to ensure they have made a fully informed decision that takes into account all factors.
3. Community Integration
Help your parents integrate into the new community by visiting local places nearby their new home. Visit coffee shops, parks, libraries, and health and fitness centres, and check out all local social clubs. If they are familiar with their surroundings, it will be much easier for them to integrate and settle in once the move has taken place.
Remind your parent that you will continue to visit often and that this changes nothing in terms of family involvement. It is a change of physical location but not a change of the people in their life. Don’t forget that, at first, they may be nervous or unsettled and it may be wise to alter your schedule to factor in more regular visits in the first few weeks after the move.
5. Local Connections
Always consider whether your parent has friends or family in the local area of their new retirement home. They will settle in better if they already know a handful of people within walking distance of their home; they could explore and navigate their new surroundings together. There is nothing worse than being in a strange environment totally alone, so making sure you consider where their valued friends live can be an important factor in the moving process.