Helping your Parent’s Move into a Retirement Home

This is a big event, like getting married or having a baby.

Moving on

I talked with a man in our store last week who had traveled all the way across from Vegas to help his aging father move into a home.

“You are a good son,” I said.

“Today,” he said, “I would agree with you!”

It wasn’t the time of the traveling that had stressed him out, it was sitting with his Dad while he helped him sort through his things which went on for nearly a week. The father had to decide what to take with him and each item was a momentous decision!  Then the next day the old man would change his mind or forget they had handled that item.

“So were you patient? “ I asked.

“Yes I was patient,” he twinkled, “I was really, really, really patient.”

When an elderly parent moves from a home they have lived in for many years it can be a stressful and a highly emotional time. It is a big transition and there is loss and always some grieving.

“Then you are a good son,” I said and I could see that he was.

In early September we often visit Retirement Homes.  I have been amazed at the level of luxury provided by these facilities.  Typically we deal with the Activity Director, officially the Director of Lifestyles. Let me ask you whether at any time in your life you have ever had a Director of Lifestyles at your beck and call, all yours and just to entertain you?

What astounded me was that these homes are not all that expensive; they are in the same degree of rent that my kids are paying in the city. Admittedly I was looking at a five star facility in Bakersfield.  So if your parent’s are able to afford a good retirement home and are outgoing, know they will have a grand old time: they will play Bridge, Bingo, participate in Water Aerobics and this in a pool heated to 85-95 degrees – there is always something going on. Understand that it is only the change that is hard on them.

An excellent idea to help them through these times is to pull out the old photos. Go through the album with them. Notice which ones they like.  Take a child with you so that they can absorb the old family history and stories. Encourage Dad or Mom to talk about the pictures. Each one will have a story. Select the favorite photos and have them made into a collage or two or three. With a collage you can even select a favorite saying like “The Handsome Patriot”  There is not much that they will be able to take with them if they are going into a small suite of rooms. Photos are the one thing that will give them a sense of continuity and connect them to their old life.

Change is hard on older people, but with their family helping them through the transition and their precious memories still with them, it will make it easier to settle down happily into the golden years of their life.

Quote for the Week

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. ~Confucius

Grandparent’s Day ( Sunday, September 9th)

We owe them so much
Let’s make a big fuss of them this year!

Did you know?

Grandparent’s Day is in September to symbolize they are in the autumn of their life

Grandparents residing in theUSA? About 70 million a full one third of the nation’s population and 1.7 million are added to their ranks every year.

Grandparents control 75% of the nation’s money, and spend 52 million on the grandkids alone

Grandparents spend 100 billion on entertainment and 77 billion on travel.

Grandparents provide extra support for their children & grandchildren with a full 62% contributing in the last year.

Grandparents often invite their kids and grand kids to live with them in their homes.  6.2 milliion up from 5.0 million in 2000

Grandparents read a lot and 71% say reading is their favorite activity. 86% read a newspaper either in print or online.

Grandparents are surprisingly tech savvy, with 75% online and even 30%  use text messaging with their kids or grandkids.

Grandparents get thier own special blog. Click on the icon below to read more.

Old woman with umbrella walking on water

Grandparents are getting younger by the day – their average age is 48.

Grandparents say their families don’t often celebrate the day. 66% have never gotten a gift or been taken out for dinner on their own, very special day.

Grandparents Day flower is the Forget-me-Not (see image above) so let’s not forget them this year. 

 Quote for the Week

To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent — that is to triumph over old age.” – Dave Barry