Hello wonderful readers. “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.” These profound words by Dwight D. Eisenhower form the foundation of our conversation today. As we navigate the labyrinth of choices while Preparing our seniors to find their forever home, planning forms the compass that guides us forward.
It may seem like a monumental task, filled with perplexing decisions and unfamiliar territory. However, fear not, for this journey, while it may seem overwhelming at times, is one we undertake with love, care, and respect for our loved ones.
Understanding Needs and Embracing Changes
Before embarking on this journey, we need to carefully consider and understand the healthcare services required by your loved one. This includes understanding their current health status, the level of assistance they require for everyday living activities, and the accessibility of necessary healthcare services.
As we navigate this intricate web of decisions, it is crucial to remember that the care needs may change over time. Your loved one may initially require minimal support, but with time, they may require more comprehensive care. Hence, it is essential to find a community that can adapt to these evolving needs.
Accessibility and Mobility
When thinking about the forever home, one key aspect to consider is accessibility. If your loved one is mobile, a one-level floor plan with wide doors may be perfect for them. However, thinking ahead is crucial. What if there comes a time when they require a walker or a wheelchair? Would the house still be suitable? Such considerations will play a significant role in selecting the right home.
Lifestyle and Community
Just as vital as the physical environment is the lifestyle it promotes. An active senior might appreciate a community with a pool, regular exercise classes, or even a garden. The opportunity to participate in group activities, such as pickleball, outings to museums, or baseball games, can greatly enhance their quality of life.
Size and Social Engagement
Size of the community matters too. If your loved one finds it challenging to engage in social activities due to sensory limitations, they might prefer a smaller community.
Memory and Medication
Cognitive abilities, such as memory, significantly impact daily routines like taking medications. If your loved one requires assistance with such tasks, this needs to be factored into the care plan.
Time Frame and Transition
One of the most complex questions to answer is the time frame. How long do they plan to stay? Can they remain in the same place as they require more services, or will another move be needed?
Activities for Daily Living (ADL) Assessment
An ADL assessment can be an invaluable tool in this planning process. It provides a comprehensive understanding of your loved one’s functional abilities, physical health, mental health, and socioenvironmental circumstances.
In my research, I have found the Geriatric Assessment by the American Family Physician to be an incredibly comprehensive tool, providing a clear understanding of the care required by your loved one. It can be found on my website, at TransitionsWithDignity.com on the Resources Page.
Proximity to Family
Lastly, consider the proximity to family. Some may prefer to stay close to their neighbors, enjoying their independence, while others might want to be closer to their children and grandchildren.
Planning might seem like a daunting process, but remember, it’s a journey you don’t have to embark on alone. Preparing seniors to find their forever home should be guided by love, understanding, and respect for your loved one’s needs and wishes. Stay tuned for our next installment as we continue to explore the world of senior transitions together.
Seniors Real Estate Specialist and Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist in Phoenix
Author of “Transitions With Dignity, A Six Step Blueprint To Help Your Loved One Embrace Change”