Moving Your Parents to a Senior Community

Moving your parents to a senior communityAging is tough on the whole family.  It is not uncommon for us to experience a family in denial – if we bury our heads in the sand, we can keep things as they are.  When you do start to explore options it means you will be confronting your fears – the fear of your parents passing and being left an orphan added to the guilt of not being able to care for your parents as they cared for you. 

For most people, the decline in physical (and sometimes mental) health that comes as we age, necessitates change.  Being proactive in your planning will save time, resources, and the added pressure of making decisions after a life-altering event.  Sometimes, family and third parties can be brought into the home to provide additional support;  sometimes there are family members who have the space and bandwidth to alter their lives and bring loved ones in; sometimes parents need to relocate their residence to be nearer to family and sometimes the best option is a move to a senior community.

How you and your parents face this change will set the stage for what comes next. 

As senior move managers, we escort the entire family through what many consider to be one of the most significant life changes. Most importantly we have the experience and connections to serve as an invaluable resource to the entire family.

Unfortunately, many people are still unaware that there is such a thing as senior move management so we are so glad you’ve found our site and can learn more.

If you are an adult child, the following page is designed to give you the tools you’ll need to support yourself and your loved ones best.

If your parent will be making a move to a San Diego senior community, here’s a guide: 

Open Communication: Start by having open and honest conversations with your parents about their needs, concerns, and desires regarding moving to a senior community. Listen to their preferences and try to understand their perspective.

Research: Research various senior communities in your area or in locations where your parents would like to live. Consider factors such as location, amenities, healthcare services, social activities, and affordability.  Better yet work with a placement professional in the community whose job is to know the community’s strengths and weaknesses and then get to know your parents to help make the best decision for their particular needs.  We recommend finding a placement professional on the NPRA website as these members subscribe to additional training and a code of ethics.

Visit Communities Together: Accompany your parents on visits to different senior communities so they can get a feel for the environment and see if it aligns with their preferences. Encourage them to ask questions and interact with current residents. A placement professional can plan these tours and can also assist with virtual tours if you are not in the San Diego area.

Discuss Finances: Have a transparent discussion about the financial aspects of moving to a senior community, including costs, payment options, and potential financial assistance programs. Ensure that your parents understand the financial implications and feel comfortable with their decision.

Assistance with Downsizing: Moving to a smaller living space in a senior community often requires downsizing. Offer to help your parents sort through their belongings, decide what to keep, donate, or discard, and assist with packing. Many people prefer to arrange for professional help like the services of Silver Linings Transitions who are skilled in making these decisions and can act as a neutral party keeping peace in the family during a stressful time. 

Our team can also refer you to one of our Realtor partners all of whom will cover all or the majority of the downsizing services needed which will include sorting through belongings, floor planning for the new home, packing, unpacking, organizing, arranging for the sale, donation and clear out of unwanted items and all of the logistical coordination of the move.  (The costs are paid through a reduction in commissions.)

Emotional Support: Moving to a senior community can be emotionally challenging for your parents. Offer emotional support, reassurance, and encouragement throughout the process. Validate their feelings and let them know that you’re there for them every step of the way.

Coordinate Healthcare Needs: If your parents have specific healthcare needs, ensure the senior community can accommodate them. Coordinate with healthcare providers to transfer medical records and ensure continuity of care.

Encourage Social Engagement: Encourage your parents to participate in social activities and events within the senior community to help them feel connected and engaged. Introduce them to other residents and staff members to facilitate social interactions.

Follow-up: After your parents have moved to the senior community, follow up regularly to see how they are adjusting and address any concerns or issues that arise. Offer ongoing support and assistance as needed.  Remember it takes a few months to settle in. It’s important to acknowledge this and expect it. 

Let Go of the Guilt:  It’s not uncommon for parents and adult children to experience a shift in their roles when they step into caregiving. When a parent moves to a senior community, you can step back into your role as a child and enjoy the relationship free of logistics and burdens. You can then focus your energy on supporting them as they receive the most vital components of longevity and happiness-  that of connection. 

By following these steps and providing support and guidance, you can help make the transition to a senior community easier and more comfortable for your parents.

Q & A

What if I live out of town away from my parents?

  • Answer: No problem at all. We frequently work with families who are spread out. We will involve you as much in the process as you’d like from sorting decisions and floor planning to videoconferencing with you for the big reveal.  We can also copy you on any paperwork or contracts. We find it’s better for the family to let us handle the logistics leading up to the move and for families to come after we’ve completed the move to give parents a chance to adjust and to have something for which to look forward.

What advice would you give an adult child who’s making the decision when there might not be a full buy-in from other family members or one/both parents?

  • Answer:  Senior community living is not the convalescent homes of our grandparents’ day. Senior living today is designed to enhance the quality of life and independence. Programming can be robust offering a multitude of choices based on interest level and acuity.  Some communities allow residents to design programming while others have programming run by staff. Studies indicate that people who age in a community with a positive mindset live far longer and better than those aging at home alone.

What advice would you give for an easier adjustment?

  • Answer: Expect the first couple weeks to months to be as hard as any adjustment would be. If you had kids who attended college, you may remember the homesick phone calls around two weeks into freshman year. Encourage your parents to keep as familiar a schedule as possible.  Try to recreate the parts of the home that are the most comfortable. Plan a visit around the two-week mark if possible to give everyone a chance to adjust. 

Also, one of the hardest parts of moving is letting go of beloved things. If it’s at all possible to say “yes”, do so when your loved one offers to give you belongings.

What will happen to the family home?

  • Answer: We can introduce you to a Realtor or property manager so you can make the best decision about the home based on its value in the current market, potential rental income, your family’s financial situation, and involvement level.

What are the costs involved?

  • Answer: We charge an hourly rate with a four-hour minimum allowing our clients to determine what services are right for them. We can give homework assignments breaking tasks into manageable pieces based on your parent’s skill level and abilities. We keep a running time log which is initialed after each visit and can be shared with family members to see tasks accomplished leaving no surprises on the final bill.

Or if we refer your parent’s home to one of our Realtor partners for sale, all or most of our services are paid out of the Realtors’ commissions. 

Please note the movers and other third-party fees are separate but we handle the logistics and make recommendations based on our experience working with them.

What happens with the items my parents aren’t taking?

  • Answer: We will coordinate the shipment of any items wanted by the family. Our experienced estate sale coordinator will then review the remaining items and determine the best course of action which may include an estate sale, selling high-end items and jewelry to auctioneers or specific third-party vendors, and arranging for an estate buyout or home clearout based on our assessment of what remains. 

In many cases, our clients will make money on the sale of items but we will determine this and give you the plan before any action is taken. 

How can we be involved with the move and the transition?

  • Answer: You can be as involved as you’d like. As we’ve shared, we can involve you in the process starting with the consultation. We can conference you in or continue to update you with photos and notes throughout the process. 

The Silver Linings Transitions team is your experienced, “boots on the ground” support guiding both you and your parents through the process. Because we specialize in senior moves, we’ll be able to assess the situation and make recommendations based on our experience in what and when we feel is needed.

🌟 Celebrating 9 Years at Silver Linings Transitions! 🌟

This year marks a significant milestone for us, and we couldn’t have reached this moment without you, our amazing community. For nine years, we’ve been dedicated to supporting individuals and families through their most significant life transitions, and it’s been an honor to be a part of your journey.

As we reflect on the past and look forward to the future, we want to express our deepest gratitude for your trust, support, and the opportunity to make a difference. Your stories inspire us every day, and we are excited to continue this journey together, providing guidance, care, and the silver linings to life’s changes.

Thank you for being a vital part of our story. Here’s to celebrating our shared achievements and to all the new beginnings that lie ahead.

🎉 Thank You for 9 Incredible Years! 🎉