downsizing | Blog | My Mothers' Caregiver
An elder care roadmap & observations from the journey
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From Confusion to Clarity


When the time comes for your parents to move, it is a very big deal; there is much to consider. This week’s guest blog by author and realtor, Julie Wilson is designed to help you through this process:

When the time comes to help your parents with the process of downsizing and moving, is important that all adult children are given the opportunity to be involved. When possible have a meeting to determine what the first steps should be. It is equally important to meet with your parent(s) to understand their feelings about moving. It’s hard for us to walk in our parent’s shoes and just as difficult for them to understand our emotions. We may be trying to do the right thing, but don’t truly know what is right for our parent. In the end, love will be the source of strength and courage.

Once the process is started, the mantra should be “one day at a time”. One step at a time, with proper planning, can be our gift to our parents. It will be gratifying as well as the right thing to do! Many parents have raised their family, enjoying many years in their homes, but now must leave to find housing that meets their current needs and situation. Children want the best for their parents, but don’t know how to begin the process. Here are some tips:

  • Communication is critical when faced with the daunting situation of finding the proper fit of housing, as well as downsizing years of accumulation.
  • There are financial concerns and medical issues as well. In many cases parent(s) may have some medical challenges and cannot contribute to the move as they would like. I suggest talking to a qualified financial advisor. These professionals examine the entire financial situation and the needs of the senior. Issues such as Medicare and Medicaid must be addressed, along with assets and liabilities. It is critical to know the amount available for the coming move and finding proper housing. The funds that will be available after the sale of the home–combined with other assets, pensions and income – must last for a lifetime. Therefore, the first step is to assess the complete financial story of the parent(s) before they move.
  • The next step is to call a Real Estate Sales Representative that has the knowledge and experience to assist seniors, to fully examine the home for its current value, and recommend preparations needed to properly market the home. This Realtor will determine which inspectors are needed to address any structural issues. Now, the net asset (after all selling expenses) will be known, so that you can report back to the financial advisor. The picture is becoming clearer!
  • Now it is time to look for housing. Visit different types of senior housing with your parent(s) and determine which best match their physical and mental needs. There are senior housing placement services that can assess needs and offer suggestions of suitable housing, saving much time and travel. (Visit Eldercare 101 on this blog for housing links).

Gathering information and consulting professionals is the key to reducing stress and fear for you and for your parent. Wishing you all the best!

Julie Wilson, Sales Representative, ASA, SRES, Author of Beyond the Sold Sign. A Canadian real estate planning guide for Seniors.   Real Sales Rep with

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