Taking care of your family can be a difficult task, especially if your parents aren’t close to where you live. You may find that eventually there will be a time in your life when you need to take the next step and move your parents closer to home. A lot can go into a move and a transition like this, and in some cases it could be hard to get your parent(s) onboard with the decision.
Whether the move is cross country, a few hours away across the state, or just 30 minutes down the road, having a conversation and a game plan in place can help ease the moving process for everyone.
Have the Family Conversation
Before jumping ahead and planning out all the logistics, it’s smart to have the initial family conversation. Having this conversation for some may be hard and awkward at times. In the long run, having this talk to determine your parents’ plan for care as they get older can benefit both you, your siblings, child, and your parents.
This family conversation is crucial for understanding where your parent(s) stand on the situation and it allows you to see where their head’s at with where they see themselves as they transition to this next phase of their lives. Ask your parent(s) what they want and take into consideration their side of things. Then voice your ideas. This will give both sides the ability to share their thoughts, hopes and opinions on the situation.
Sometimes you may be on the same page, other times, there may be some gray area. If your parent(s) are on the fence about making the move, some points you may want to bring up to them would be:
- Being closer to the greater family can ensure safety for them
- It allows for more family time since they won’t be too far away
- The move can permit easier assistance if they have medical issues
- Downsizing to a new home can save money and ensure they are in a space that is easy to maneuver around and take care of as they get older
During this conversation, if you have siblings, it’s a good time to discuss who will take on the caregiver role. Determine if you will all be hiring someone to come take care of your parents every now and then if needed. It may be helpful for everyone to hire someone to come in part time or full time to check-in on your parent(s) now and then. There are chances of caregiver burnout so hiring extra help is never a bad thing in most cases it just benefits everyone.
Once you come to a consensus of what is best for the family, stay organized and take notes and write down ideas and dates within a planner. Not only will it keep you and your family on track, but it will allow for everyone to be on the same page when it comes to what was discussed and decided on to ensure a flawless transition.
If during the conversation, you and your family have decided that extra care may be needed, it’s a good idea to look into various care options for your parent(s). Depending on the health of your parent(s), you’ll want to research different levels of care for them. Even if they aren’t ready for extra care, it’s still important to learn about options for the future.
If your parent(s) don’t need much care but are looking for more social interaction with those their age, an independent living situation may be best for them. If they are in need of some assistance when it comes to day-to-day activities you may want to think about an assisted living community so they can have help when needed.
Parent(s) who may have medical issues that may hinder their living situation and ability to be on their own, should potentially consider a nursing home as an alternative. If your parents have dementia, memory care is a great option. That way, you can still visit them but won’t have to worry about them being on their own and have a peace of mind knowing they are in good hands and being monitored.
Some people like having their family members in close quarters and have the ability and room to do just that! If that is you, it could be a good idea to create an in-law suite. You can work with them to really make it their own, whether that be you take them shopping for furniture and items to decorate the space or have them plan the layout with you. Get them involved so they feel that they have a say to make it their new home. A tip if they are moving into your home would be to look into senior programs so they can still feel connected with others their age.
Plan Moving Logistics
Once you’ve decided on potential care for your loved one(s) and have agreed on the move, the next step is to plan out moving logistics. It’s a good idea to have a strategy in place when it comes to moving to ensure you are considering all the aspects of a move so your loved one(s) can experience a flawless relocation.
As you start to plan out moving logistics, you’ll want to take into consideration the move-in dates of your parent(s) new home. Whether this be a move into your or your siblings’ home, a smaller home, an assisted or independent living community, or a nursing home, keeping this in mind for the move is crucial. Once you know the move-in date, it gives you the ability to lay out the rest of the moving plan.
If you need more support with moving your parents, moving companies can offer this assistance. There are options such as hiring a moving crew, ordering a moving van yourself, or even ordering a pod to fill and have the company drive it to your new location.
Typically a move means selling a home or ending a lease, if that’s the case for your situation, you’ll want to have a plan in place to make sure the house is packed up and ready for the next homeowners or renters. This can be a lot for your parent(s) so make sure that you are there to be of assistance and maybe even consider hiring packers if you don’t have a lot of helpers around. If you have a big family it may be a good idea to plan a week or weekend that everyone can pitch in to work together to help pack up belongings. Take inventory and make a list to decide whether you’ll be keeping, donating, or storing items. This is a great way to stay organized throughout the move. If your loved ones aren’t ready to part with certain items, invest in a storage unit closer to where they’ll be living so they can access the items whenever they want.
If your parent(s) live across the country, decipher your travel timeline. In some cases if they are far away, you’ll have to designate more time to the move and whether or not you’ll get moving trucks and pack up cars to relocate or if you all pack up the home and take a plane back home while you wait for their belongings to be shipped or transported.
Figure Out Moving Finances
A moving budget is another important part of moving logistics. You’ll want to make sure your loved one(s) have enough money allocated to make the move. It’ll also help you and your siblings figure out if there’s a need for you all to pitch in on any of these costs.
To stay on track and to see how much your parent(s) could potentially be spending, develop a spreadsheet of all the expenses involved with the move. Do some research, call around and get some price points, and mark all the expenses down. Once you have the pricing figured out, you’ll want to think about various payment options to support the move.
Consider speaking with your parents about potential payment options that can cover the move and any home improvements they need to make before moving out of their home. Talk to them about their retirement fund, savings, or a personal loan. You may even discuss with your siblings or spouse about potentially taking out a personal line of credit or using a credit card to help out. Another idea you could pitch would be for them to hold a garage sale to weed out some unnecessary items.
Lastly, make sure they have some extra money in an emergency fund in case problematic situations arise that may skew costs of services involved with the move (example: important items that could have been damaged or broken during the move). Having an emergency fund can also ensure your parents and/or you and your siblings aren’t borrowing too much to support the move.
Make the Move
Using these steps to get a plan of action for your loved ones is essential for a seamless transition. Now that you’ve had the conversation, planned out care and logistics, it’s now time to make the move! Get your loved one excited about this next step in their life journey and enjoy the move with ease.