Elderly parents issue

Perseverance

I have elderly parents (in their mid to late 80s) who absolutely love to travel and have kept themselves very busy with different clubs and activities. They also love the arts and really enjoy going to see the symphony or opera. They have always prided themselves on not being your typical "elderly person" and absolutely hate the idea of retirement communities.  

Unfortunately they are having increasing health and mobility issues.  They live in northern NJ and want to remain in the area which I think is great but their house is not a good one for aging and I'm afraid of what could happen.  My family has approached them about their plans and what they want to do and we move into this new phase of their life and it's very clear that they have no plans.  Ideally, we would really like to see them in a condo or preferably an independent living facility (which could transition to assisted living if needed) but they are so stubborn.  I think part of it is that they fear they'll have to eat meals at 5pm, will hate the other people in the facility, feel like there's no intellectual stimulation and can no longer be independent. I think it's also a fear that they're finally growing "old."  

We're at a loss as to what to do.  They are financially comfortable so this is thankfully not an issue.  However, the idea that they're in that house and they could fall or seriously injure themselves in some other way keeps me up at night.  I would really appreciate any suggestions whether it be how to talk to them or types of living arrangements that might fit their lifestyle. 


apple44

No specific advice, but I would add to their list of fears the real possibility of their being forced into something once an event occurs and having others make the decisions for them. I'd try to convince them there's real advantage in their being active participants in their planning.

That said, if your biggest concern is about them falling, the reality is people fall all the time in nursing homes etc. No place offers one-on-one supervision 24/7. At the very least, the current home should be altered (particularly bathrooms) with support bars and it might be useful to convince them to have a cane (the four-legged one at bottom) and rolling walker around just for back up. For now, you might also work with them to have groceries delivered, so that's one less trip they are making outside.


Steve

What about an apartment in Fort Lee or Hackensack (or, if they are in Northern Bergen County, I think that there is a development in Harrington Park)?  That would provide them with single story living and an elevator and possibly covered parking.


sprout

My parents just got a condo with a NYC view in Ft Lee. The monthly fees are not cheap, but they are very happy no longer maintaining their old colonial, and that they now have central air conditioning.

They go out all the time, and have a couple of bus options to NYC.

ETA: But even with them looking forward to the condo, the move was tedious and stressful. We had to go through everything they had tucked in every nook and cranny in the house, and decide what to do with it.


jmitw

There are developments that are progressive, people move into their own apartment, as their needs increase, they can get increased support within the development.  I vaguely remember hearing about a couple around here.

I think there is a fairly new senior building in Westfield near the Clark border....I think at the end of terminal ave.  I would guess it was built to be minimally accessible....might be others....its woodcrest at clark...

https://www.gardencommunities....

if they were very comfortable, westfield has a 55+ condo building.  i think its on prospect across from trader joes....

this is the cheapest right  now

https://www.realtor.com/reales...

i don't  know how accessible it is.

would they consider a ranch style house?  or even a cape cod with 2 bedrooms/full bath on the ground floor...and not use the 2nd floor except for visitors


rcarter31

There are wonderful apartments in our Coop  with city views or Secret Garden Views and all In a wonderful community of musicians, artists, writers, retired people from teaching and many, many other fields...  MLS listings in East Orange for Harrison Park Towers.  Many from SOMA have moved here over the last 10 years.   Almost 20 units AND you can continue to garden in The Secret Garden OR just sit and enjoy!  Contact me.  Not a realtor, just a fan.

Few stars.  All units are on a single floor!

Ron Carter

The Garden Guy!


rcarter31

One my best volunteers in The Secret Garden is a retired Master Gardener from Maplewood, over 90!  Moved here with his wife after downsizing.

Works most everyday until they head for Florida in November!

-Ron


yahooyahoo

Same issue with my parents, very active and like to travel and living in a home not built for aging seniors.

Lots of discussions on where are you going to live, what are the plans for the house, etc.  What I found is that it's almost impossible to get into a senior living situation after experiencing serious health problems. However, seniors really don't want to give up any independence if they don't have to, kind of a chicken or egg thing.

I've come to terms with the fact that my parents are grown adults and they may not want to do what the rest of the family wants.  For example, I think my parents are willing to risk their health to take a trip rather than give up traveling.  There are some things you should let go and other to push.  Pick your battles.


rcarter31

We have a constant stream of Home Health workers into HPT every day.

Physical therapy, Home Nursing Care, People getting various treatments at home instead of in infusion centers...  

-Ron


rcarter31

Couldn't find how to delete.  a mis post

Come on over to HPT!

-Ron


chalmers

yahooyahoo said:

Same issue with my parents, very active and like to travel and living in a home not built for aging seniors.

Lots of discussions on where are you going to live, what are the plans for the house, etc.  What I found is that it's almost impossible to get into a senior living situation after experiencing serious health problems. However, seniors really don't want to give up any independence if they don't have to, kind of a chicken or egg thing.

I've come to terms with the fact that my parents are grown adults and they may not want to do what the rest of the family wants.  For example, I think my parents are willing to risk their health to take a trip rather than give up traveling.  There are some things you should let go and other to push.  Pick your battles.

This is an important point. As it does not seem that mental incapacity is an issue, they are adults and do have agency regarding their decisions. You can point out specific ways that staying in their present home presents a risk and identify safer alternatives that are suited to their lifestyle.

However, even understanding the risks, they might view them as an acceptable trade-off for maintaining what they see as their independence. People of all ages sometimes reject safer alternatives or make decisions that aren’t in their best interests. Some parents might not be thrilled when their 20-year-old buys a motorcycle, but that’s his/her prerogative as an adult.

It’s tough to deal with, but you might be forced to find the best way to make their current home safer while they still feel this way.


sprout

yahooyahoo said:

Lots of discussions on where are you going to live, what are the plans for the house, etc.  What I found is that it's almost impossible to get into a senior living situation after experiencing serious health problems. However, seniors really don't want to give up any independence if they don't have to, kind of a chicken or egg thing.

I was "fortunate" that my father was diagnosed with a slowly progressing degenerative nerve disease 2 years ago. As the prognosis was that within months to a couple years he would become unable to walk, this made moving to a one-level condo a priority. He and my mom found a place they liked and moved while they could both still carry boxes.

Unfortunately, it seems the nerve degeneration is impacting his organ function now. So, it may not be his legs that give out first.  LOL


rcarter31

I think we are being called a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community.

Not a "senior" building but lots of retirees and about to retirees...

You will seriously overlook a great, reasonably priced option in your search.

You certainly won't find a more reasonably priced option...

Here's one 3 bedroom, currently on the market.  There are more and there are one bedrooms with garden views.

You know how happy I am helping to tend The Secret Garden @ 377!

Someone you know has been waiting on a "move in" 3 bedroom at Harrison Park Towers, the wait is over!

Just coming on the market! Gardeners are especially welcomed!!!

A Line, East and South facing. 12th Floor! City Views! Spectacular Sunrises and fully brilliant city at sunset!

​Being offered at $139k with a monthly fee of $1970. Fee Includes: Real Estate Taxes, Electricity, Water, Heating and Cooling, 24/7 Door personnel. The Secret Garden @ 377, Shuttle to Brick Church, Shuttle to Grocery, staff to maintain this 21 story building, snow and lawn services. (Eliminates your sewage and waste removal fees.)​

(Message for connection to seller. I am not a RE Agent. just love this garden and building and need more helpers!)
The fee also includes a share of the building’s mortgage and real estate taxes, making a percentage potentially deductible on your income taxes​.

Join the migration to East Orange, 20 units now occupied by former SOMA Residents

(Message for connection to seller. I am not a RE Agent. just love this garden and building and need more helpers!)

A One bedroom, 14 J, is currently available and my across the hall neighbor! Garden terrace! Call our office about this one or Michele Chiles-Hickman, ABR, CRS
Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices NJ Props
695 Bloomfield Ave
Montclair, NJ 07042
www.ComeHometoJersey.com
Direct: 201-463-0958

Ron  


joan_crystal

AARP has a lot of information available on how to make your home more accessible for older residents as we age.  Check out their website.  Afraid of falling?  Remove trip hazards.  Add simple handholds.  Trouble with stairs?  Add a stair lift or ramp.  Mobility issues requiring a walker or wheel chair?  Wide door ways, lower counters,  This my not be the answer you want to hear.  You may not like the idea of them remaining in their home at this time; but, they need to know all the options available to them.  SOMA Two Towns For All Ages recently held a forum on this topic with lots of helpful handouts.  Check with Cathy Rowe at SOMA Two Towns For All Ages to see if she still has copies.

Edited to add:  A copy of AARP's Home Fit Guide can be found at AARP.org/homefit.


Steve

I think that some insurance companies will even provide a home inspection for safety for free.


joan_crystal

Steve said:

I think that some insurance companies will even provide a home inspection for safety for free.

 So will some municipalities.


shh

Piggybacking on this very timely thread. 

After years of trying to convince my parents to leave the high ranch they’ve lived since it was built in 1969, a few health setbacks have made them realize it’s no  longer an option to stay. 

They had wanted to purchase in an active adult community, but also now realize they need to move into accessible housing immediately, so they will need to rent.

It seems the only active adult rental communities near us are the Enclave in Livingston and Spring Hill Manor in Springfield.

Am I missing any? I want them to be able to stroll around safely since both need to be more active. They don’t want steps and it would be safer to have a shower in lieu of a tub and it seems many rentals just have tubs. 


joanne

I was going to suggest you might be able to make do with a bath seat over a tub, if the place is worth it for a short while. But then I remembered you'll soon have winter coming along (brrr!), and anyway not all tubs accommodate bathseats (that's why we had to get rid of our seat). 

I hope something comes up.




In order to add a comment – you must Join this community – Click here to do so.