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Article: FIND THE RIGHT HOUSING OPTIONS - Tips from Dr. Marion

Find the Right Housing Options

Table of Contents
  1. Find the Right Housing Options

By Dr. Marion Somers, Ph. D., Dr. Marion Tips


  1. Your elder may be able to live alone in the current home. Your elder has many positive memories in his/her home, and the smells, the furniture, and the kitchen are all familiar. It's also more affordable. Familiar surroundings make your loved one feel calm and centered. Neighbors can help you keep an eye on your elder.


  2. Your elder may be able to live in the home with an aide or hired help. These services include employing an aide in the home for a set number of hours per day, employing a visiting nurse to pour medications on a weekly basis, or hiring other help to coordinate meal delivery or other services.


  3. Your elder may be able to move in with you or another friend or relative. In many cultures and societies, this is the tradition. Are you able to adapt your living space? Can you build an addition or retrofit some square footage in your home? Can your kids double up and give up one of their rooms? Is the floor plan of your home flexible?


  4. Consider moving your elder to an assisted living facility. Assisted living provides aides on site, and they're attuned to the needs of their geriatric population. Household chores are performed: sheets are changed, laundry is done, and food is cooked and served.


  5. Consider moving your elder to a nursing facility. Seniors who are unable to function independently can benefit greatly from the mental, physical, emotional, and medical services available on site. Nursing facilities are expensive, but could prove to be the perfect fit for your elder. The nursing facility provides them with a vital new community and support system.


  6. Most elderly want to remain in a familiar environment until the very end, so it's usually easier on you and your elder if you try to fix and improve the current living space. Talk with your elder and get the real story about what's going on. How is their health; is he/she safe; are basic needs being met in regards to care, nutrition, and medications? What effect does the current housing situation have on his/her health and happiness?


  7. Carefully consider the physical, emotional, financial, and psychological issues that are involved with leaving your elder's home environment. Can your elder self-medicate or is help required for dispensing medication? Is his/her food delivered or cooked? How does your elder currently get to the doctor? What are the specific health issues and can they be managed if your elder lives alone? Are you considering moving your elder because it's best for him/her or best for you?


  8. Be aware that just moving to a room with a window in the same facility or institution can cause an adjustment period called "transfer trauma." Everything familiar changes and it takes time for your elder to adjust. Take into account such things as the orientation and the new environment, as well as the sounds, smells, and food. So give your elder that time and space to adjust.


  9. Strive to allow your elder to remain in his/her home, or age-in-place, if possible. Many people erroneously believe that the majority of the elderly population ends up in a nursing facility soon after the first signs of dramatic decline. In fact, only six percent of the elderly population requires skilled nursing care.


  10. Try not to separate an elderly couple unless it's necessary. Most couples who have been together for fifty years would rather be dead than separated, even if they've argued a lot. Who else would they spar with?


©2006-2017 Elder Health Resources of America, Inc.

Last Updated on 8/23/2017

Sunday, June 23, 2024