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Relocating an elder parent

Recently, my parents, who are in their late 70’s, decided to relocate from California to Ohio in order to be closer to other family members, including me. After my dad broke his hip and my mom suffered a fall, they knew it was in their best interests to be near family who could provide future care, if need be. Surprisingly, my parents approached me about the issue—in many instances, adult children are the ones initiating this conversation and the elder may be reluctant or apprehensive to relocate. Going in, I had no idea of the details that had to be considered when making a cross-country move. From my own personal experience, here are a few things to consider when helping a parent relocate:

Insurance: It’s important to think about how a move will affect your elder’s insurance policies. I found out that the policies in Ohio differ greatly than the policy my parents had in California.

Downsize: My parents’ new home in Ohio is smaller than the condo they previously owned in California—of course, there wasn’t room for all of their belongings. Passing down heirlooms to family members, hosting a garage sale, or donating unwanted items to a local charity are all great ways to downsize before a move.

Have a care plan: As the eldest child with my own children grown and out of the house, I feel I am well-equipped and in a good position to provide care for my parents. If you have other family members in the area, it’s important to map out a care plan and delegate responsibility before the move. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect after the move.

Socialization tactics: Moving to a new place in a new neighborhood can be very overwhelming for an elderly person. Make an effort to help your senior get out of the house to meet new people and get involved in the community. It will help them adjust and become acquainted with their new home.

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