Archive for housing

Helping Elderly Parents Transition to a Nursing Home

family visit at Grandma’s nursing homeAt some point, allowing your elderly parents to live alone in their own home will mean a safety or health risk, which means it’s time to move your elderly parents into a nursing home. This is one of the most difficult decisions for a senior. It’s imperative that friends and family understand that many elderly individuals feel a loss of independence during this process. There are things you can do to help your parents through this process and make even the most difficult transition a smooth process.

Moving is an Emotional Process for Elderly Parents

While you may be tempted to think of the move in terms of practicality, moving can be a very emotional process. Transitioning from a large house to one-room will require significant down-sizing. Your parents may insist on keeping items that they don’t need. For example, although the retirement home may not have a kitchen, your parent may want to keep their pots and pans. It is important to remember that members who lose their home may also feel like their losing some independence and ability to make decisions for themselves. By being sympathetic and allowing them to make their own decisions, you are allowing them to maintain a sense of ownership and independence.

How to Talk to your Parent

Timing is key when approaching your elderly parent about moving into a nursing home. On certain days, they may feel like living in their home is a luxury, and on others the strain and difficulty will show. It’s best to talk to your parent about moving on a day when they express difficulty with the home. Is the gardener bill to high? Are they having difficulty with their health? By waiting to speak with your parent when they face a difficulty with the home, they will be more likely to see your point of view.

Finding a Home

Make preliminary visits and do some research on the best homes in the area before taking your parent on a search. Encourage your parent to make a list of questions and address their concerns. Never belittle or brush-off your parents’ concerns about where they live. Encourage them to take ownership of the process. Once you’ve settled on a home, be sure to visit at least one additional time with your parent before moving day. Find out if the home has moving and storage options to make the move easier.

Moving Process and Planning

The moving process and planning can be quite difficult for your parents. Realize from the beginning that they will not be able to take all of their belongings. Seek out moving and storage options, and perhaps a moving company that has experience moving the elderly to nursing homes. Invite friends and family on moving day for emotional support. Most importantly, give yourself extra time and keep the pace slow. Though the move may be possible in one day, consider giving it two. Rushing through what is a very emotional process for your parent will make the day even more difficult.

Finding Support

If necessary, be willing to take your parents to the moving and storage facility to gather additional items. Maintain a frequent visiting schedule, at least in the beginning, to help your parent feel at home. Encourage family and friends to visit often until parents feel comfortable in their new surroundings.

Though every move can be stressful, early planning and preparation will drastically reduce stress for all involved. Remember to be patient with yourself and your parents during the process. Taking care to purposefully plan every stage of the process from the talk to moving and storage will ensure a pleasant transition for your parents.

Paul Benjamin works for EZ Storage, a company specializing in secure and clean storage rental since 1971.

Image by Jeremy Bronson and licensed through Creative Commons.

Talking to Your Parents about Their Housing Needs

Last month, we shared some tips for talking to your parents when you can see they need help with their activities of daily living.

Although most seniors would ideally like to stay in their own home (sometimes referred to as “aging in place”), sometimes in-home care just isn’t enough.

Today, we hear first hand from someone who went through this with his own mother, in this video from the Family Caregivers’ Network in BC.

Does his situation sound similar to yours? Feel free to share your story in the Comments section below.

If you’d prefer to discuss it privately, we invite you and your parents to take our free questionnaire. We’ll help you evaluate your situation and prepare for the next phase in your lives.

Get to Know Your Community Care Access Centre

Community Care Access CentreIf you’re a senior, or are caring for a senior parent or other family member, there will probably come a day when you need some extra help. Talk to your doctor, and he or she will make a referral to your local CCAC, or Community Care Access Centre.

The CCAC staff has access to a wide range of community services to help you or your loved one continue living independently or explore other options such as retirement homes, long-term care homes, or supportive housing.

When you contact their office, you’ll be introduced to a case manager, who will talk with you about your needs, conduct a health care assessment, and answer any questions you may have. They’ll then develop a plan that’s customized to meet your specific needs.

That’s where we come in.

If the case manager believes that you can stay in your home, we can assist by making the recommended home modifications and providing or arranging for any additional support services you may require.

If it’s not practical for you to remain at home, we can help you through the entire downsizing process, from deciding what belongings to take with you to coordinating your move to helping you settle into your new residence.

If you’re not ready to contact the CCAC, take our free questionnaire and we’ll be happy to help you evaluate your situation.

Financial Assistance for Home Modifications

money for home modificationsIt’s not surprising that most seniors value the independence of remaining in their own homes. Fortunately, this can often be made possible by implementing minor or major home modifications.

If money is an issue, you’ll be glad to know that there are a number of programs available to help low-income households undertake home adaptation projects. These include:

Home Adaptations for Seniors’ Independence Program (HASI)

Funding for minor home adaptations, like adding handrails and bathroom grab bars

Contact Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for information.

Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP)

Financial assistance to low-income households who own and occupy substandard housing to enable them to repair their dwellings to a minimum level of health and safety, and to persons with disabilities who require special modifications to improve accessibility to their residence.

Contact your local municipality for information.

The RRAP program even offers financial assistance for the creation of a Secondary or Garden Suite to allow a low-income senior to live independently in their community, close to family and friends.

Contact Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for information about this program.

To evaluate how your home can be adapted to meet your current needs, we’re here to help.

Give us a call at 905-971-9568 or email us to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.