As mobile as our society is today, it’s a simple fact that adult children and their aging parents often live extreme distances from each other.
If you’re visiting your Mom or Dad or grandparents in Phoenix, Goodyear, or Glendale this holiday season, this may be the first time you’ve seen them in a year or more. Often, this is the time of year when family members first notice that an older loved one is beginning to slow down. In fact, almost all senior retirement communities in Arizona and elsewhere report December and January as the two months they see a large increase in the number of inquiries they receive from concerned family members.
Whether you’re visiting senior family members who live in the Phoenix area this season or you’re a local resident whose parents or grandparents live out of state (and you’re thinking about moving them to Arizona to be closer to you) there are a number of things to watch for determine whether a senior is still able to live safely on their own.
Remember that help exists to manage and implement a late-in-life transition for a senior. Whether the senior lives in Phoenix or you’ll be moving them to Arizona to live with or near you, we at the Krone Team are highly experienced and trained in the art of helping families and seniors navigate the entire move process, including emotional and financial upheaval and concerns. As Certified Senior Housing Professionals, we are highly-trained and experienced in helping family caregivers and seniors through the process of selling a house, finding senior housing, managing financial and emotional issues, and preparing for all aspects of a late-in-life transition.
How to Tell if a Senior Family Member Can Safely Live on Their Own
How Do They Look?
Are your loved ones significantly heavier or thinner? Are they physically much weaker? How steady do they seem on stairs?
Has Mom’s hair always been perfectly coiffed and now is messy all day?
What about changes in clothing like torn or rumpled clothes that always used to be perfect? Is there now significant body odor when a “fresh laundry smell” always used to be important to hem?
Is the pantry or refrigerator in bad shape or bare, indicating that they are unable to feed themselves properly? There may be a significant problem with dirty dishes, or you may notice a v variety of things in the kitchen that worry you, like a need for them to climb stools to reach items or fire hazards near the stove.
Maybe Mom and dad always kept an immaculate house but now the housekeeping is shoddy or non-existent.
Check the floors for safety hazards. That slippery throw rug now puts your loved ones living alone at risk for falling.
Are stairs well lit and carpet coverings tight or wood not slippery? Are steps free from clutter or objects to trip on?
You probably don’t need us to tell you that the bathroom can be a dangerous spot. Is it cluttered and messy, meaning Mom or Dad are unable to keep it safe, leaving them vulnerable to falls? Are they unable to keep it clean?
Are mats in place to prevent slipping in the bathtub? Are railings and handles secure?
You should be able to tell if your parent or grandparent is able to properly manage their own medicine. Does it seem as though they are organized with it? Are they utilizing a pill box that is properly filled and consumed and is there a list to help them keep track of their meds? Or does it appear as though they are unable to remember if or when they have taken their pills?
Bills and Finances
A look around their office area or desks, etc. should indicate to you whether they are able to keep their finances and bills organized and paid. Or is that area in disarray with piles of envelopes and unpaid bills?
If they still get behind the wheel, find an excuse to suggest that your loved one take you on a short drive so you can monitor their skills.
But most importantly, don’t overreact. Some aging and slowing down for seniors is, of course, natural and they deserve the respect of being able to live independently for as long as possible. But if safety seems to be a valid and serious concern, it’s time for you and your other family members to begin planning and then act.
Remember that help exists to help manage and implement a late-in-life transition for a senior. Whether the senior lives in Phoenix or you’ll be moving them to Arizona to live with or near you, we at the Krone Team are highly experienced and trained in the art of helping families and seniors navigate the entire move process, including the emotional and financial upheaval and concerns.
As Certified Senior Housing Professionals it’s our job to not only help with the sale of a home or other real estate services, but also to manage the entire process for you and your senior family member.
Our Probate Real Estate Division is yet another way that we super-serve seniors and family caregivers across Arizona, Phoenix to Goodyear to Glendale to Avondale to Litchfield Park.
Contact Cheryl or Keith Krone – The Krone Team – for a chat or no-obligation consultation.