Helping your aging parents prepare to sell and move into either independent or assisted living is not easy, even if they are willing to make that move. And over the years, we’ve seen many situations where adult children need to step-in to assist. Sometimes a parent dies and the family members are left with dismantling a home that has been lived-in for 20, 30 or 40 plus years. Any one of these scenarios can be overwhelming for not only the aging individuals but most of the family members as well.

Begin clearing out the home now. One of the biggest hurdles that family members experience when facing an upcoming move for their parents is the massive amount of accumulated personal belongings in the home. Years and years of memories, mementos and hobby supplies fill every room. Oftentimes, elderly people begin collecting everyday items; paper bags, boxes, canned goods or paperwork. Piles and piles of items that need to be sorted, stored or disposed of. Clearing one room or area at a time and not waiting until needing to make the move is one of the best, first steps to take.

Make sure the property is held in a trust. Should you be dealt with the unfortunate situation of the death of an elderly parent, the sale and managing all aspects of transferring the property will be much easier if it is in a trust. An estate attorney can advise you and your family members of the best way to set-up a trust account. If the property is already set-up as a trust, be sure to locate the trust agreement paperwork. In addition, help locate and store in a safe place all valuable and important paperwork, if possible.

Should you need to sell the parent’s home, interview several licensed, real estate agents to ensure that you have someone who understands how to work with a senior homeowner. There are agents who are experienced or are certified in this area. Always, if possible, have another family member with the elderly parent when an agent visits the home to ensure information is accurately noted and to make sure all documents that are signed are correct.

Enlist the help of a Senior Care Advisor (SCA). It is often helpful to have a professional, non-family member assist the elderly parent with information, support and advice. Finding a new place to live can be time-consuming and visiting several facilities exhausting. A SCA can narrow-down the search to a place that meets the needs of your family member. This service is often free as the SCA is compensated by the senior living facilities they recommend. Get references before using someone to help in this area.

If you are faced with the need to assist your parents for an upcoming move and need references, let us know. We have several elderly care business associates that we have used, and we’d be happy to share that information with you. Begin preparing for your parent’s move now and you’ll be able to help them ease into this transition going forward.