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Elder Law

Frank Discussions About Housing Decisions

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? Your spouse has had a recent medical incident that has impacted his or her ability to live independently. You have come home to visit your mother for the holidays and realize your mother's home is in disarray, her clothing soiled, the refrigerator nearly empty, and her bills are unpaid. A neighbor has called to tell you your father seems confused and has been getting lost. Any of these scenario give rise to concern and may trigger the need to consider a safer living environment. The next questions usually include: what do we do? Where will we/our parents go? Do we/our parents try to stay at home with additional assistance? Do we/our parents move in with one of the children? Do we/our parents move into an assisted living facility or a nursing home? A major life change such as a change in one's living environment deserves careful and thoughtful consideration. The following are some tips that may make the process a little easier. 1. Open Discussion. An open, candid and honest discussion should take place. A family meeting with all interested parties will help determine everyone's views and expectations and will also help to decide the best course of action. This is a stressful time for all concerned but an open discussion can help to alleviate that stress. 2. Plan. A plan must be put into place. A decision needs to be made as to where the new home or living environment will be located. All possible residential options need to be evaluated; such as assistance

in the current living situation, or a home closer to family members, or moving in with a family member, or moving into a care facility whether it is a continuing care community, a nursing home or an assisted living facility. 3. Level of Care. The level of care required will often dictate the residential option selected. Consider the level of independence and what activities of daily living, such as bathing and eating, can be done independently. Evaluate the level of supervision or assistance that is needed. Assess the health and physical abilities of the caregiver if that caregiver is to be a family member. Determine the level of medical care needed. 4. Financial Considerations. Needless to say, the economics of affordability is always a consideration. How much money is available to pay for the needed care or available to pay for the new living arrangement must be a factor when making a decision. Of course, each family's circumstances are unique. However, it is hoped that with open discussions and careful consideration the process of making housing decisions will go more smoothly. As a certified elder law attorney, I have often been called upon to help families through this process.

If you or a loved one is facing the tough decision of a change in a living arrangement and need guidance, please call Annemarie Schreiber at 732-797-1600 for a free consultation. If you are unable to make it into the office, we are willing to visit you in your home, hospital, assisted living facility, or nursing home.

The County Woman Magazine

January/February 2018

Ocean County Woman - January/February 2018  
Ocean County Woman - January/February 2018  

The County Woman ™ is part of a nationally syndicated publication and has been around for over 31 years. There are over 371 other counties t...