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Senior Housing Decisions

Senior Housing Decisions

Author: Nicole/Monday, May 15, 2017/Categories: Catholic Charities Aging Services

Q. My father is ready to move out of the family home. Our mom passed away and he admits he cannot keep up with household chores. Are there guidelines for choosing where to move when being at home is no longer an option? He does have some health issues and we have wondered if he is depressed or if he might have some memory issues. He tells my siblings and I not to worry and that he will be fine wherever he moves but we don’t want to end up making the wrong decision for him.

A. You and your siblings are in a fortunate situation because your father is ready to move, however, I do want to caution you about several things.

This is your father’s life and as much as he does not want anyone to spend time worrying about him, he has to be part of the decision. Before you even begin to discuss any aspect of moving, I would suggest a very thorough medical examination.

You did not mention when your mother passed but it is very possible he is grieving her loss and is feeling depressed or despondent. If that is the case, this is not the time to make important decision. If he is depressed, a move might deepen his feelings and lead to more complications.

I urge you and your siblings to make this a priority. A thorough check-up will include both a physical and mental examination. A screening for depression and dementia should be included.

When this has been completed, you, your siblings, and your father will have a better picture of the situation and that will lead to an informed decision about the future.

If there are signs of dementia, your decision may be based on future needs vs. his current condition. This may lead to a more structured facility instead of an independent living environment. The important element is to include your father in the steps along the way.

Together, you may want to tour a variety of living options which includes all options from independent to assisted living. There are some communities that offer assistance with certain living tasks. This can include the option to have meals and cleaning services bundled with the rent all the way to health monitoring and personal care assistance.

These wonderful options help individuals maintain that sense of community living while receiving the amount of assistance that is appropriate for them.

After you have completed the physical and have the information needed to move forward, you may want to contact the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) for a list of apartments and assisted living facilities.

Please contact Lynda Koivunen, Assistant Director of Aging Services, at 608-826-8003 or lkoivunen@ccmadison.org if you have any aging-related questions or to learn more about our programs.

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