As your loved ones get older, it’s normal for them to need more help with chores and daily activities. If you don’t live nearby, it may be necessary to move closer. Before you dive into this big decision, make sure you understand the factors that influence the situation. Pinnacle Multicare Nursing & Rehabilitation Center presents the following tips that can help guide you while making this very important decision.
Look for Warning Signs
It’s hard to recognize that your parents or grandparents need help when you don’t live close, but there are several areas of concern for you to consider:
- A change in health, a new diagnosis, or an injury
- Changes in vision, reduced hearing, or impaired reflexes
- Increased anxiety, depression, or irritability
- Forgetfulness, especially regarding staying safe, paying bills, and taking medication
- Loss of weight and evidence of a declining diet
- Changes in hygiene or home cleanliness
- Difficulty preparing meals, shopping, or attending appointments
When any of these issues pop up, it’s time to become more involved.
Increase Safety at Home
If it’s possible for you to move closer to your loved one, you can both avoid the risk of relocation stress syndrome, which, according to medical experts, is a medical condition that could cause your family member anxiety, confusion, and loneliness. However, you must be sure that it is safe for your loved one to continue living at home:
- Look for and remove trip and fall hazards
- Provide non-slip shoes, socks, and other footwear
- Remove potential fire hazards
- Adjust room features to accommodate decreased mobility
- Increase lighting and provide night lighting
Look for potential hazards in the home and determine whether appropriate solutions are possible.
Simplify the Move
There are several steps you can take to reduce the stress and anxiety of moving:
- Create a checklist with every task listed in order of completion
- Reach out to friends and family for help with the physical work
- Pack a box containing everything you’ll need in the first few hours after the move
- Visit the new community a few times before the move to become familiar with the area
- Discuss decisions and changes with your loved one throughout the moving process
The goal is to reduce confusion through organization and avoid frantic decisions by planning well in advance.
Hire Professional Maintenance Help
As you go through the process of moving closer to your loved one, reach out to professionals who can help provide home maintenance. This reduces the work you need to do as a caregiver and increases the safety of your loved one. A gutter cleaning service is one example of this type of professional help. Gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year, depending on where you live, and if this hasn’t been done, it may be necessary to repair or replace them. The average cost of gutter cleaners ranges from $106 to $167. Larger jobs may be as much as $350. Gutter professionals have specialized tools and training to do the job safely and efficiently. They can alert you to problems that may affect the safety of your loved one. The financial investment you make in these services can decrease your stress and worry.
Picking up your life and moving for your loved one presents a lot of obstacles. As you settle in and get used to your new lifestyle, you’ll enjoy a closer relationship with your family member and the reward of knowing that you’re providing care and love.