Becoming a family caregiver is a big decision, especially when moving to a different city or state. However, if your senior loved one needs more attention and care, then you want someone who knows them well and loves them dearly—like you!
Along with preparing for the new challenges and rewards that will come as a caregiver, you must figure out the logistics of your move. Will you move in with your loved one or buy your own place? Will you buy a home for both of you or help your loved one move into assisted living? Below, Debbie Wise provides some practical advice for navigating the process.
Assessing Your Loved One’s Needs
Before planning your relocation, try to evaluate your loved one’s condition. Besides helping you gauge whether they need your support immediately or if you have some time, this will help you determine precisely what kind of care your loved one needs.
Assess your loved one’s medical condition(s), hygiene challenges, safety concerns, mobility troubles, mental acuity, and social needs. Also, figure out how many household tasks they need assistance with. Once you have some answers, you can confidently plan your move.
Purchasing a Home
After evaluating your loved one’s needs, you should have a better idea of what kind of living situation would work best for both of you. If you choose to buy a home in your new city, make sure the house has everything you need to live safely and comfortably. And if your loved one will be living with you, you will need to consider their needs as well.
Does your new home accommodate the challenges your loved one faces each day, or will you need to make some modifications? Are the neighbors friendly, and is your neighborhood safe? Are there pharmacies, grocery stores, and medical facilities nearby? These are the types of questions you will need to ask as you hunt for a new house.
If you are buying a house, be sure to work with an experienced realtor like Debbie Wise. Along with helping you find the ideal property, your realtor can help you navigate virtually every other step in the home buying process.
Moreover, review your finances and determine what type of mortgage you should seek. Since lenders will gauge your affordability on your debt-to-income ratio, calculate your DTI to get an idea of what kind of mortgage you can qualify for. Simply divide all of your monthly debt by your gross monthly income.
Exploring Other Living Options
You have other options than buying a new house for yourself and your loved one. Assisted living is a popular type of housing for seniors because it is designed for older adults who need special medical and personal care.
Most assisted living homes are designed to accommodate the individual’s independence, and services are typically available for daily living assistance. Depending on the facility, your loved one’s living space can be an apartment, an individual room, or a shared space.
If your loved one wishes to stay in their current home, you might consider in-home care or home medical care. In-home care generally involves assistance with daily activities (e.g., eating, bathing, cleaning, etc.) and companionship and socialization. As your loved one’s primary caregiver, you will probably be handling most of these responsibilities, but you might benefit from hiring an additional person to help.
If your loved one needs higher-level medical care and therapy, you might need to bring in a home health aid. These professionals are specially trained to conduct treatment, administer injections, and perform many other duties.
If you have recently decided to become a caregiver, it’s time to get ready for your new chapter. Evaluate your loved one’s condition and take time to research all of the possible living options for yourself and your loved one. Along with heeding the advice above, keep learning other ways to prepare yourself and your loved one for your new journey.