Senior Living – what you should know:
Baby boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964. There are 76 million boomers in the United States alone and make up 29% of the our overall population. Those born before 1946 present even more challenges. They are collectively known as seniors and are part of an ever increasing percentage of our population because of improved medical and surgical breakthroughs.
Those that love and care for a senior face a multitude of challenges as this population ages. One of the biggest challenges is recognizing issues and implementing the best plan for their care if they need it.
Whether you are a spouse, child, relative or friend, there are times when you recognize that a senior may need senior care either outside or inside of the home. Often, the symptoms are minor but may progress and become more pronounced. Paying special attention to various symptoms are the pathway to determining what is needed.
Experts have identified specific clues that may help you. Obviously, this is not an all inclusive list:
Memory – probably one of the most difficult aspects of aging to accept, by both the senior and those who care for them, is memory loss. These symptoms include forgetting previous conversations, forgetting things that occurred in the past, and frustration on the part of the individual as they slowly recognize that there losing their capacity to remember. Seniors with memory loss may attempt to hide these symptoms initially as the symptoms progress. It is a degenerative condition which has no cure at this time.
Behavior – unexpected changes in a senior’s mood and reaction coupled with changes throughout the day especially when they are fatigued.
Cleanliness and upkeep – if the home is in disarray or personal hygiene is abandoned, the senior may need to get help bathing, shaving, cleaning their home and maintaining living conditions.
Unpaid bills – forgetting to pay bills and mounting mail that goes untouched. The consequences to the senior are shut off of electricity, water and other services. Unpaid invoices to the mortgage company or credit card adversely effect their credit history and lead to foreclosure.
Depression and loneliness – sadness, lack of interest in leaving the house, meeting old friends and staying active. Are they interested in their environment and find joy as they had before.
Food and Medicine – is the senior eating and are they taking their medication as prescribed
Senior Safety – do they seem on edge, are they wandering outside and seem to get lost. Are they still driving and seem to get into more accidents. Is there environment safe and contained. Is safety an issue.
Senior response to solicitors – is the senior likely to invite people into their home for perceived maintenance from strangers knocking on their door. Are they signing contracts without understanding the cost or what is being done and why. Are they being taken advantage of by phone solicitation or being asked for their personal information.
Are you, their caregiver, overwhelmed – are you feeling overwhelmed especially as you may have other responsibilities such as a job, children and other commitments.
There are no single solution or easy answers because what is needed depends on too many variables. Is the senior in your life someone who would benefit from an active living community that provides entertainment, activities and some services. Is aging in place, (senior stays at home with help from a caregiver or outside assistance), the answer. Aging in place is a great alternative as it provides consistency and a sense of independence. Then there are other options that provide continuous care and memory care.
There are many options and re visiting the effectiveness of any one option is ongoing as seniors age and as conditions change. What is best depends on your evaluation as well as seeking the expertise of those that specialize in senior care.
I am a real estate broker who has also attained the SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist) designation. My role is to assist in providing resources specializing in helping seniors. But most important is my understanding and empathy for seniors that have to sell their homes. It’s not easy for seniors to give up everything they have worked for all their life. Not easy to recognize that you are making a decision to leave your home. Not easy to accept that this is probably one of the last places you will own. Somewhere in your heart, that realization has to get you.
As a real estate broker and SRES, it is my duty and privilege to sell the home for the most amount of money and as quickly as possible. My fiduciary duty includes making sure that my client is informed and that they are protected. Keeping their interests first and foremost is sacred. But more important is understanding what they are contemplating and my role in earning their trust.
Please contact me if you have questions or if i can provide any information. It’s a tough journey but getting expertise and a caring team helps.