If buying a home is one of the most stressful life experiences we can have, as many Americans report, deciding to leave it is likely one of the most heart breaking. This is especially true for Florida seniors who have lived in the same home for decades. This may also be why the vast majority of older Americans intend to stay put for at least the next five years.
In reality, however, the likelihood of being able to stay at home safely diminishes with age. According to a recent survey, approximately two-thirds of seniors ages 60 to 70 say they have no trouble living on their own without help. Conversely, less than half of those in their 70’s and older agree.
So how do you know when it may be time to leave your home? There actually are warning signs that we may all need to understand to be able to best protect ourselves. Whether you live alone, or with your spouse or another person, take the time to candidly review these potential issues:
- Chronic health concerns that are not getting any better
- Taking medication as prescribed
- Home maintenance
- Personal hygiene
- One or more falls resulting in serious injury or hospitalization
- Slower recovery from illness or injuries
- Eating properly
- Caring for pets
- Shopping and other routine chores
- Paying bills and/or managing money
Other warning signs include getting lost or feeling confused in once-familiar surroundings, feeling overwhelmed by the mail, feeling isolated or feeling lonely.
After you evaluate yourself and speak with your doctor, the next question is: Where should you go? Since every situation is different, the answer will depend on your situation. In some cases, it may simply be a matter of moving to a smaller home, such as an apartment or condominium. Or perhaps your adult children will invite you to move in with them.
If these alternatives do not work for your family, then there are retirement communities, assisted living facilities, or long-term facilities such as nursing homes. As each possibility has its pros and cons, it is important to talk things through with your family. Also, due to the costs involved, it is also important to consult your elder law attorney. He or she has the experience to be able to discuss this with you and help you plan for potential long-term care needs.
We know that this is a challenging time and it may be difficult to share your concerns about leaving your home with your loved ones. We want you to know that we are here to support you on this and any of your elder care issues. Please do not hesitate to contact our law office to schedule a meeting at any time.