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Checklist for Moving Elderly Parents

by Lindsay Pietroluongo

If you have elderly parents, chances are you're going to have to help them move sooner or later. Whether you support them completely or they have financial assistance, budgeting will be a big part of helping them relocate. Even if you're not currently caring for elderly parents, you can do both yourself and them a favor by preparing early for their potential move. If the move is especially difficult because your parents are in bad health, gather other family members, such as brothers, sisters and your kids, to help out.

Remodeling

You may have to plan for some remodeling on the new home your parents are moving into. Determine if you'll need handrails in the bathroom, a ramp instead of staircases, and a bedroom or bathroom on the first floor. A lot of houses aren't designed to accommodate the elderly, so remodeling may be necessary for safety purposes.

Assisted Living

If your parents are in poor health, you'll need to arrange some sort of in-home care. You may even want to discuss with your parents the option of moving into an assisted living home. If your parents need some sort of medical care, consider long-term care insurance, which will pay for in-home nursing care. However, you will need to pay premiums. You'll also want to make sure that you have some sort of authority to make medical decisions in case they become too incapacitated to do so. Make sure that you know where your parents' paperwork for power of attorney for health care and finances is.

Considerations

Decide how much help you're both willing and able to provide. With so many women and mothers in the workforce, your family simply may not have the time available to help with every single step.

Personal Items

When sorting through personal items, be respectful. If your parents have to downsize their belongings in order to fit into a smaller home, it may be difficult for them to let go of certain items. You may need to hold a garage sale in order to scale down possessions. You can also put some items into storage or donate them to a charity. Keep in mind that going through personal items, specifically ones from your own childhood, is a great time to reminisce with your parents. Moving doesn't have to be all about the business side of things; take the opportunity to strengthen your family bonds.

About the Author

As a full-time writer in New York's Hudson Valley, Lindsay Pietroluongo's nightlife column and photos have appeared regularly in the "Poughkeepsie Journal" since 2007. Additional publications include "Chronogram," the "New Paltz Sojourn," "About Town" newspaper and "Outsider" magazine. Pietroluongo graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in English.

Photo Credits

  • Dougal Waters/Digital Vision/Getty Images