Living far away from a senior loved one can be stressful for both parties, especially if your loved one falls ill. More serious issues may arise, meaning the only option is to move closer to your loved one to care for them locally. This guide can help determine when it’s time to move closer to your loved one.
The 20 minutes it took your loved one to cut the lawn a few years ago might take twice that now or may simply be impossible. More serious issues could include the inability to change a lightbulb. Poorly lit rooms heighten the risk of trips and falls.
Poorly maintained ovens could be another problem. Bending down to clean them may no longer be an option. Continuously cooking with a dirty oven can create carbon-based fumes and excess smoke, a potential fire hazard.
Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths in adults 65 and older. If you start to notice any bruises on your loved ones, it could be a sign they've recently fallen.
Burns are the second leading cause of home injuries. Your senior loved one is more likely to accidentally burn themselves if they suffer from poor eyesight or memory impairment. Your elderly relative might not have even felt the pain from their burn if they have a condition called peripheral neuropathy.
There are several reasons your loved ones could be neglecting their hygiene, and it's a sure sign they need you close by. They may have physical issues that make taking a shower difficult, or they may feel unsafe. If memory is an issue, they may forget to take care of themselves every day without even realizing it.
If your phone conversations end up in a flurry of confusion and frustration, it's not a good sign. Poor hearing or comprehension on your loved one's behalf can make phone conversations a challenge. If they struggle to understand you, there's a chance they could misinterpret information from medical professionals such as doctors, and your loved one's confusion makes them a prime target for phone scammers.
Once you move closer to your loved ones, you can keep a closer eye on them and carry out any maintenance and modifications around the house to make it safer. It may be that aging in place is no longer an option, and you may have to look at alternatives. Depending on your senior loved one's physical and mental state, a senior living community that offers independent, assisted, or memory care facilities may be a safer option.
Moving closer to your senior loved one will likely involve taking out a mortgage, which is a real estate loan. There are several types of mortgages available, and those that you may qualify for will depend on your personal circumstances as well as your credit history. The terms of a mortgage can vary depending on these factors, so it’s wise to conduct research before applying for a mortgage.
During the mortgage application process, lenders will calculate your debt-to-income ratio to determine what you can afford to pay each month. By adding up your existing monthly obligation and dividing it by your gross monthly income, you'll be able to determine how much you can pay.
Not only will having you closer provide reassurance to your loved one but you'll be able to sleep easier at night knowing that you're just a short drive away.
Article by Hazel Bridges from Agingwellness.org.
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