Your Next Move: A Quickstart Guide for Elders

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Moving from a home you’ve cherished for decades is a significant life transition. Whether you’re considering it for yourself or assisting an elderly loved one, it’s a decision that deserves thoughtful reflection.

Start by asking yourself some essential questions:

  • Physical & Mobility: Has your home become harder to navigate? Are stairs, narrow doorways, or bathrooms without grab bars becoming a challenge?
  • Health Concerns: Do you require regular medical care that’s difficult to access from your current location? Are there health conditions that would benefit from a living situation with support?
  • Cognitive Decline: If memory or daily tasks are becoming more difficult, is your home set up for safety and ease?
  • Social & Emotional Well-being: Are you feeling isolated? Would you thrive in a community with social activities and connection with peers?
  • Financial: Is maintaining your home becoming a financial burden? Would alternative options free up resources for other needs or goals?

If you’re finding your current home isn’t the best fit, here’s a look at some options to consider:

  1. Aging in Place (Home Modifications): If you’re deeply attached to your home, consider modifications to improve safety and accessibility. This can include grab bars, ramps, wider doorways, and even smart home technology.
    • Pros: Stay in familiar surroundings, maintain independence.
    • Cons: Costly renovations, may not address social isolation.
    • Average Cost in WI: Varies widely depending on modifications needed.
  2. Downsizing: Moving to a smaller home can reduce maintenance and upkeep, free up finances, and be easier to navigate.
    • Pros: Simplified lifestyle, potential financial benefits.
    • Cons: Emotional adjustment to letting go of belongings and memories.
    • Average Cost in WI: Varies by location and home size, but could range from $200,000 to $400,000+.
  3. Independent Living Communities: Designed for active seniors, these offer amenities, social activities, and optional services like meals and transportation.
    • Pros: Social engagement, reduced responsibilities, access to amenities.
    • Cons: Can be costly, may not offer much medical support.
    • Average Cost in WI: $2,500 – $5,000+ per month.
  4. Assisted Living: Provides housing, meals, personal care assistance, and social activities for those needing help with daily activities.
    • Pros: Support with daily tasks, access to healthcare professionals, social environment.
    • Cons: Less independence, can be costly.
    • Average Cost in WI: $3,500 – $7,000+ per month.
  5. Skilled Nursing Facilities: Provide 24/7 medical care and supervision for those with complex medical needs or requiring rehabilitation.
    • Pros: Highest level of medical care, often covered by Medicare or Medicaid for eligible individuals.
    • Cons: Most restrictive living environment, may feel institutional.
    • Average Cost in WI: $7,500 – $12,000+ per month (may be partially or fully covered by insurance for qualifying stays).
  6. Memory Care: Specialized care for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, offering a secure environment and programs to maintain cognitive function.
    • Pros: Focused care for memory issues, safety, and support for families.
    • Cons: Most restrictive option, expensive.
    • Average Cost in WI: $5,000 – $10,000+ per month.

Important Considerations

  • Cost: Factor in ongoing expenses like rent, food, care, and amenities.
  • Location: Choose a community close to loved ones or medical facilities if needed.
  • Level of Care: Assess current and potential future needs.
  • Social Environment: Does the community offer activities and opportunities for interaction?

Your Next Steps

Making a decision about your housing future is a journey. To navigate it with confidence and peace of mind, it’s crucial to:

  1. Get Perspective and Guidance: Reach out to trusted professionals and loved ones who can offer unbiased advice and support.
  2. Make a Plan: Develop a timeline considering your needs, financial resources, and desired lifestyle.
  3. Assemble Your Team: Gather the experts you need—from real estate professionals specializing in senior transitions to financial advisors and moving specialists.

Want to start a conversation?

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