Becoming a caregiver can drive real estate decision making
Guest article by Janet Campbell of Elder Spark
Submitted by Bob Hillery, CR Properties
We don’t like to think about it, but anyone can find themselves in a situation where they require a caregiver. We often associate these situations with the elderly, but you may find yourself choosing to move closer to a parent, niece, sibling, or grandchild in order to help provide a stronger support system.
Whether you’re considering becoming the primary caregiver or one of a larger support network, the decision to relocate is a big one that requires forethought and planning. In this article, we’ll share some tips, thoughts and guidelines to help you to make this decision.
If your loved one needs increased supervision to ensure their health and safety, moving closer to them may be the best option, but it may not be permanent. The following indications can help you determine whether this change is necessary:
• Unpredictable mood swings
• Forgetfulness when it comes to medications, hygiene and routine tasks
• Failure to follow medical directions (intentionally or unintentionally)
• Difficulty moving around the home
• Inability to complete essential daily tasks
• Declining cleanliness and maintenance in the home
Before you make your move, look for professional help that can help your loved ones. This type of help may include:
• In-home nurses
• Personal care assistants
• House cleaners
• Yardwork helpers
As much as possible, enlist your loved one's help in researching and hiring outside help. If the primary caregiver needs self-care breaks, then a part time in-home nurse could be enough to provide the break they need. Or perhaps your loved one can care for themselves, but they cannot maintain their home alone. In that case, a landscaping service or housekeeper might be the solution.
Also, you could help them with their shopping since there are currently more options than ever. When it comes to products, check with unbiased experts to make sure your loved ones are getting the best (and safest) value for their money.
As you start taking over caregiving duties, approach your family member gently. If other family members have been helping with caregiving, it’s important to respect what they have done and build from there. They may want to remain in the caretaking team, but simply need additional help. Or they may be burnt out and need to step away for other reasons and will be happy to pass along their expertise to a new caregiver.
If your loved one requires help due to age or advanced disease, be gentle as you step into a caregiving role. Recognizing the need for help can be a difficult part of the aging process. Use questions rather than statements during difficult conversations and honestly explain the signs that you've noticed. Don't overstep your boundaries, always use patience and respect during interactions.
Moving is almost always stressful and can be particularly so when you're also concerned about the well-being of a family member or friend. Don't get so caught up in the frantic pace of moving that you rush into a mortgage.
A trustworthy lender should sit down with you to calculate a realistic monthly payment based on your debt-to-income ratio. You can get an idea of what to expect by combining your existing monthly debt and dividing the total by your gross income for the month.
It’s also important to consider your employment in this transition. Many people are enjoying remote work situations right now. However, if you are planning to move your business, this will play an important role in your housing decisions. Once you decide whether to buy or rent, begin your moving plans as quickly as possible. Clearly label all of your boxes so that you know what pertains to your business, because you will need to get things set up quickly once you arrive.
There are benefits to renting rather than buying a place near your loved one. You can bypass much of the stress and work that is part of a bigger, more permanent move as you focus your energy on taking care of your family member. Renting will buy you more time to research neighborhoods and homes to purchase in the future. Explore rental listings and filter by cost, type of home, and other amenities.
Self-care is an important part of ensuring that you're able to provide help. This is true as you prepare to become a caregiver and is vital as you work directly with your friend or family member. From finding a new home and moving to spending long hours providing personal care, it's important that you recognize the emotional and physical requirements of these new tasks.
Becoming a caregiver is a generous and wonderful thing to do for another human being, but do ensure that you take care of yourself so that you can accomplish your undertaking.