How can we make the decision on whether to move to assisted living or not?

2 answers | Last updated: May 08, 2012
A fellow caregiver asked...

We don't know how to decide about moving into assisted living. We have a large debt free house and other real estate assets but have a very low cash flow. We do not like enclosed apartment living. We are 85 and 87 respectively-- we are mobile and both have just passed the driving test. Our children are split between northern and southern calif. The thought of the trauma of moving is frightening. But the 3 story house we live in is getting difficult to maintain. We also have a dog and won't move without her.

Expert Answers

Donna Quinn Robbins is the author of Moving Mom and Dad and On the Road of Life, Drive Yourself. She helps individuals, families, retirement communities, and corporations make successful transitions through her company, Ultimate Moves. Robbins is an active public speaker on the topic of senior transition services and has appeared on NBC's Today Show.

It would seem to me from what you have described that, because of your circumstances, you may want to consider downsizing now and moving to a one story condo instead of moving to an assisted living community. After the move you could then visit places and pick one that would fit your needs at a later time. If one of you gets ill, you could hire a caregiver to help until you feel it's the right time to make the move. The important part is downsizing when you both are well enough to do it and not leaving those decisions to one person to make alone.  You'll know when the right time approaches. Most important have a plan to fall back on otherwise you could make serious mistakes if a crisis occurs. Thank you, Donna

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

My mom lives alone in her own home. But she no longer drives. She is physically healthy, but mentally she is losing ground. She's forgetful, confused, and depressed. She has good neighbors and lives in a nice neighborhood. Is it time for her to be in a care center?