Assisted living as a place to start?
Our parents first moved into an assisted living facility after our father had emergency surgery. Mom, contending with a deteriorating diagnosis of Alzheimers was, for the first time in their sixty-five years of marriage, unable to take care of him. Not that she wasn’t willing or trying.
After living twenty five years in the same home, it was a huge decision for them, but Dad’s illness showed him it was necessary. Once they made that decision, we quickly arranged for them to move in. The next step was to figure out how to deal with their belongings.
First, they picked out what they wanted to have with them, and what they would no longer need. Still the house was left with all they had accumulated over their lifetime. If you are close by and have a computer, you could list a huge number of items on eBay or Craigslist. It’s always surprising what sells through those avenues. We all lived out of town so that made it a bit more difficult.
Fortunately when we contacted a local antique store owner to assess what would be salable on consignment, she solved that problem for us. Thanks to her, the rest of the process was much easier. She had a lovely couple who would deal with the rest. For a fee (sometimes a percentage), they arranged a garage sale , set it up, held it, then arranged for donation of all that was left. Afterward they even cleaned, so the house was ready to show and sell. This is another great income producing idea for an over 50 couple who enjoys garage estate sales.
When our parents first moved in to the assisted living facility, I was impressed with how nice and homey it was. A lovely dining room with table cloths and cloth napkins, a library, a sitting room with comfortable furniture and a fireplace, a large room available for crafts, church services, and bingo, nicely decorated wide hallways, and a very friendly staff. Though around thirty residents lived there, it was very cozy. It felt like home. There were plenty of activities the residents could take part in to keep them active.
Assisted living turned out to be an excellent move for Mom and Dad. There was a nurse on call, aides there 24/7 to help with showers, dressing, medications, whatever was needed. The dining room served breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with snacks and fruit available too. Each room had its own fridge as well. Because Dad had his faculties, they were both able to stay in Assisted living, even though Mom’s Alzheimer’s progressed. He took good care of her.
Many assisted living homes take a percentage of medicaid patients as well. The plan had been spend down the folks money as required, then switch over to medicaid within the same facility. Unfortunately their residence stopped accepting Medicaid, so our plans changed as well. We found a beautiful, brand new facility that had apartments for independent, assisted living and memory care. As it turned out Dad too needed memory care by then, so they moved in to memory care together.
It was an easy transition to the new facility. Both moves were a huge weight off their children’s shoulders. We all tried to visit as often as possible, but it was a relief for us to know they were looked after, that someone would check on them, help them as needed, and keep us informed.