When Jon and I moved to Austin from Houston, my parents came too with an open mind and without complaint.  The move was a little harder on my dad, my mom was up for the new adventure.  They both knew that at some point they would need us and their move would make it easier for us.  They were right.  That need came all too quickly.  Because of their courage and grace, Jon and I were able to care for them while making our new home, home.  We were not commuting back and forth to Houston.  My parents gave us a great gift.  I am grateful for it.

How do you broach the subject of your parents moving when they are completely resistant?

Gently and confidently, and with good information in hand.

Sometimes parents don’t recognize the need to move.  Sometimes they don’t want to move because they have a picture of what life will be like after the move, missing friends and what’s familiar.  They believe it will be expensive.  They’ll be lonely, forgotten.  Sometimes they are scared.

For the purpose of this piece, your parents’ needs require more than a Garden Community or 55+ Community offer.  They are in decline though they don’t see it and you are worried.  It is your love that drives your concern.

So you do a little leg work.  You take a look at what’s available.  Visit Independent Living, Assisted Living and Residential Care Communities.  Your research provides a good idea of what each has to offer, meals, snacks, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, activities.  Is there a hair salon on premise?  Are pets allowed?

What levels of care are offered?  Can staff administer medication?  Is there a nurse on duty? 24/7?  What is the staff to resident ratio?

Is it better that your parents are near you so you have easier access?  Is it better they are near where they live now, near friends and what they know?

Regarding pricing, is it inclusive?  Are there additional fees for additional services or is there block pricing?  Needs can escalate and accidents happen.  Does the community provide the additional care or does an outside agency?  Who sets that up?

On the subject of pricing, the numbers can be scary.  Remind your parents that they’ll never have to replace a roof or water heater, or repair an A/C or sprinkler system.  They won’t pay for yard work or utilities and their grocery bill will go down.  There is some trade off.

I know this is a lot to take on.  Just think of it from your parents’ perspective.  Think of what we ask of our parents when we ask them to make this move.

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