When should seniors move home?

When should seniors move from the family home?

When should seniors move from the family home?

When should seniors move home?

by Christine Hopper

When should seniors move home?

The time when seniors should move home is clear to the sellers of seniors lifestyle communities.

Wisdom is recognising that the family home might soon be inappropriate for your needs and having the courage to sell up and buy into ‘seniors friendly’ accommodation.  But what is inappropriate housing for a senior?

When should seniors move from the family home?

Inappropriate housing is where:
• the garden is a burden to be managed not a sunny paradise to be enjoyed;
• the front steps provide character to the building and character-building opportunities during recovery from bruised faces and fractured limbs;
• watching the guests navigate the web of extension leads across the lounge room floor is more enthralling than anything on the latest electronic entertainment systems;
• the electricity bills are huge and so are the spaces to be heated (or cooled) all day now that you do not rush off to work in the morning;
• thorough cleaning of the kitchen leaves you thoroughly exhausted: those ‘hard to reach’ spots have become impossible for you to reach;
• the toilet is in a small dark slot off the laundry far from the nice front bedroom, don’t forget that last step down just beyond the kitchen door;
• the only shower is over the claw footed bath accessible only to the agile and sure footed.

If your current home could become inappropriate for you within the next five years then now is the time to plan your move. Remember, you will need stamina and good health to actually establish yourself in your new home and get to know your new neighbours.

But to where?  What are the options for seniors housing?

If you still want to tend your own small garden and/or keep an active animal companion then consider a small single level townhouse or retirement village unit.  Beware of staircases and split level dwellings: they are the precursors of limbs encased in splints, split knees and spilt coffee.  The bathroom needs to be spacious enough to accommodate a frame over the toilet, a chair under the shower, a carer to help with showering and turning space for the walking frame.

If you want to be able to just ‘lock and leave’ to go travelling and/or you really do not want any outdoor responsibilities then consider a suburban lifestyle community residence or a retirement village unit in a garden setting.

Finally, if you are beyond housekeeping then an assisted living apartment could provide you with a private space together with access to communal dining and recreation facilities.

Wherever you choose to call home, you could apply to have government sponsored ‘help to stay at home’.  This help could be house cleaning, meals on wheels, ‘personal assistance’ to get you showered and dressed or someone visiting each day to dispense your regular medication.  Local government receives some funding to provide essential ‘in home’ safety rails and ramps.

Be warned: the demand for these ‘help to stay home’ services could exceed the number of care and service packages the government offers in your area.  Hence you might need to wait many months for your turn to start accessing a government sponsored service and/or make your own arrangements with commercial providers.

Finally, if you are no longer able to live safely at home because of frailty and/or dementia then residential aged care could provide a secure and caring home away from home.

More information: Where to live in your senior years.  http://www.financialcareservices.com.au/newsletters/vol-1-ed-4

Coming soon – the costs of retirement living in lifestyle communities.

If you would like further confidential, independent and professional advice about Centrelink, lifestyle or financial issues please contact Christine Hopper (03) 9808 0338.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is of a general nature only and does not constitute “financial advice”. You should obtain your own personal financial advice before investing any money or moving in to any retirement village, lifestyle community or aged care facility. Financial Care Services is licensed to provide financial advice to individual clients based on their personal situations. © 2012 Financial Care Services Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.

To make an appointment for professional advice, call Financial Care Services 03 9808 0338