10 Things to Consider Before Moving Closer
We see many folks (maybe you!) who have lived and worked in the same town for their whole adult lives – then later in life, they uproot, moving to live closer to their kids. Is this a good idea? That’s what we’re discussing in today’s edition of Caregiver Connection.
Reasons For The Move
Let’s start by discussing the reasons for your move. We have several friends who have moved just because they are getting older and thought that it would be a good idea to live closer to the kids. This makes a lot of sense. If your closest child lives several hours away, it would be hard for them to get to you if you suffered a sudden decline in health.
Having said that, there are several things to consider before packing your worldly possessions in a U-Haul and hitting the road. Here are 5 things you should consider before making the final decision.
How is your health? Are you in good shape and are proactively making a move? Or is bad health prompting you to make a move now? If this is the case it would be wise to have a discussion with the children to determine whether they are willing and able to assist with the care you need now and may need in the future.
Closer to Better Medical Care?
Speaking of health issues, some people move in order to be closer to their doctor or better medical facilities. If this is the reason, don’t assume. Make sure that the doctors and facility care that you need is in fact available.
Are the kids staying put?
Nothing would be worse than selling the home that you have lived in for years, along with most of your worldly possessions and moving to live next to one of your adult children – only to have them suddenly announce that they are moving across the country again! This is a discussion to have before the move.
Which child are you moving to be near?
There are several factors to consider with this one, such as geographical, family and financial stability. Also if your adult kids live in geographically diverse places, you will definitely want to discuss your choice at a Mom Centered Family Meeting before the move. This should help to eliminate the “the favorite kid” argument.
Are you moving in with the kids?
This is a big decision that you don’t want to consider lightly. As a matter of fact you may want to contact your local elder law attorney to discuss all of the ramifications of this decision before making it. We discussed a few of the factors in a recent blog post entitled: Burning the Bridges: A Cautionary Tale. Just click on the link for a few extra tips.
Moving to help with grandkids.
Do you want to move to be closer to grandkids? Are you physically able to attend and participate in their activities – such as frequent ball games, dance recitals and school plays? Do you have the stamina to baby sit – even overnight if necessary? Can you serve as chauffeur to all the places the grandkids will need to go? OR if the grandkids are older, do they live close so they can also help and visit with you. All of these are factors to consider before the move.
Leaving your long time friends.
You want to be near your kids, but if it means leaving the company of your long time golfing / fishing / walking / jogging buddies – is it worth it? Maybe you have been a long time participant in your Church group / Rotary Club / Canasta card group or other civil or social group. You have known, relied on and been friends with these folks for a long time. Are you OK with moving and leaving this behind?
Downsize or Not?
Sometimes there are substantial benefits to downsizing. Your family home was great when your kids were little. Now you no longer need that much space. You may have a big yard that’s difficult to maintain; there may be deferred maintenance on the home; your bedrooms may be upstairs; or you may live out in the country and have now decided it would be better to live closer to town. For any number of reasons, you may want to sell your home and downsize.
Where to downsize to?
If you have decided to downsize, the next question is where do I downsize to? You may want to move to a smaller condo or Independent Living Facility in your town. Or you may have decided that if you’re going to sell your home and downsize anyway, it makes more sense to move to an area closer to your adult children. All factors to consider at your Mom Centered Family Meeting.
What does your new “Home” look like?
In our Caregiver Connection newsletter, we’ve recently discussed several different living arrangements options. You may choose to continue to live in your own home with assistance of family and/or assistance of non medical caregivers. Alternatively, you may choose some sort of facility care options such as an independent living facility or assisted living facility. You may decide to purchase a smaller house or condo or to rent an apartment closer to one of your adult children. There are many options available. You should consider which care arrangement or housing option is most convenient and most affordable for you at this stage of your life.
The ultimate question to ask yourself: Is closer better? There are many factors to consider – a few of which are listed above. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. You only have to answer to yourself. But it’s good to consider the major factors before making the big decision.
Best wishes to you as you struggle to make the big move decision that you may have been considering.
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