When only one of your parents needs nursing home care, it can be difficult to weigh your needs and those of both your parents to create the right plan. However, with some planning and preparation, you can ensure your parents' needs are met while also creating a manageable situation for yourself.
Today, Caregiverology.com invites you to take a look at some ways you can maintain a caring yet pragmatic attitude when creating a plan for the future.
The Arbor Company notes that the most important consideration is to prioritize the healthcare needs of both your parents. While only one parent may need to stay in a nursing home for health or living services, it's important to pick a community that's supportive of their spouse's needs as well.
When considering what home is best for your loved one, evaluate affordability and care quality. Read plenty of reviews, tour many different care centers, and talk to staff to see if they offer the care your parent needs. When considering finances, factor in any Medicare or Medicaid, veterans benefits, or other benefits your parents may be entitled to when paying for senior living.
Different care needs can lead to situations where your parents are essentially leading separate lives even within the same community. This situation can still work out well if you ensure you and your parents can stay connected. Consider using technology to allow your parents to call each other frequently, and plan to make in-person visits as often as possible to maximize the time you and your parents spend together.
Whether both parents are moving into another community together or one parent is staying behind in the home, you need to decide what to do with their house. In the event one parent is staying behind, consider downsizing into a smaller, more manageable home. In that case, start by investigating market trends to get an idea of the home’s worth and look into how much equity they have in their current home.
If they have a good deal of equity and if the house is paid off, renting the property could be an ideal situation. Not only can this provide extra income to support both parents, but it helps keep the home in the family for the time being. Take stock of local home rental prices to get a sense of what the going rate is, particularly for comparable homes in the same neighborhood (more than 2,000 rental properties are currently available in Jacksonville).
This process isn’t just difficult because of logistics. For your parents, AgingCare points out that this move signals the beginning of their physical decline and a realization that life will never be the same. They can still enjoy many years of love, laughter, and joy, but it will be different. Keep that in mind as you help them through the transition.
If you decide not to sell or rent out their home, there are things you can do to make the home more manageable for the parent staying there. By selling or donating old items and cleaning out rooms, you can make the living space a lot easier for the remaining parent to manage. You also get a head start on the moving process in case plans change in the future. But be gentle during this process as it can be hard to say goodbye to items that have memories attached.
If your parents have a business and they are no longer willing or able to manage, you’ll need to talk through options. They could choose to sell it or transfer ownership to someone in the family or a close friend. Transferring the ownership of an LLC is one potential option. Another can be to create a new LLC to purchase the business. An online formation service can make the process quick and easy by filing all the necessary paperwork for you.
Above all else, it's important that the process of moving one parent to a nursing care community is filled with compassion and care. Knowing and respecting your parents' needs can help minimize stress and yield more positive results. Especially if this transition includes major changes like selling a family business or home. Additionally, consulting with life care professionals can be a great way to evaluate your situation and better understand your own and your parents' needs.
Thank you Bonnie McDonald for contributing this article.