When you look around at your home that you have lived in for so long, would it seem overwhelming to think about packing and moving? Imagine being elderly with health issues and the inability to actually do the packing and moving. Then think about the issue of not being able to drive or owning a vehicle to move anything with. Maybe your children all live out of town or you don’t have any family to support you at all. What do people do if they need to downsize and move when they are elderly? I see a lot of people that talk about moving and are willing to consider it but never actually follow through because of the reasons I have mentioned above. The emotional strain that an elderly person goes through when they do move is also concerning. There is an actual term for it called Transitional Trauma that is characterized by symptoms such as anxiety, confusion, and feelings of hopelessness.
Families often try for years to get their elderly loved one to move to a smaller, more accessible home, or an assisted living facility. The moment when a son or daughter is talking to their parent about moving is most likely the point where home care services and home modifications could be useful.
Adding home services and making home modifications may often keep a person in their home for the rest of their lifetime. If anything it can prolong the move, and save money and trauma on the elderly person. If a move has to occur, then the home care workers and Senior Care Managers can provide assistance with the packing and deciding what might be appropriate for their next residence. This gives the family and the elderly person more support and confidence in the move itself. Senior Care Managers can also coordinate the services needed to make the move as seamless as possible.
There are times where keeping an elderly person at home is not a safe or cost-effective option. In this case, a family needs to be aware and empathetic of the emotional and physical challenges that an elderly person will face. It may be the time to introduce skilled home care services so that a nurse can work with them on their depression or anxiety that often times accompany the transition out of their home. Remember a home is often where they spent their years with their family; it is where their memories are.
If you or someone you know is in need of home services or facing a move that will be challenging for them and their families, call Western Illinois Home Health Care at 800-228-5993. We are a full service provider including skilled home care, Senior Care Management, and in-home supportive care.
Amanda Powell, BSW, is a Senior Care Manager at Western Illinois Home Health Care