When is the right time to consider moving your senior parent into an Adult Family Home in Seattle?

The short answer is, when they know they are ready, but there are a lot of details that will help make the transition a happy one, and because timing is so important, this question is critical. Let’s look into what it means to move into – and live in – an Adult Family Home for the long term:

A good Adult Family Home will offer great support for residents with dementia

One of the least spoken about topics yet on the minds of most adult children care takers of potential Adult Family Home residents is the subject of dementia. By the time most of us reach the age of likely living in an Adult Family Home, we have some sort of memory or dementia issue. For me – and I am only 56 years of age – I have for years walked into rooms only to forget what I came into that room for. So then I retrace my steps until I “re-learn” my decision process of only a few minutes ago. I was always like that, but it’s definitely gotten worse lately. Some of it is age related, but another factor is most definitely how I use the Internet. Right now, as I type this, I have a full-length movie running on Netflix, a few browser tabs open for email and Facebook, and my smartphone might beep at any moment with a message via Viber, WhatsApp or Messenger. Everyone has their own favorite medium, and I have to stay connected with a number of people, but the constant mental mode of always being about to be interrupted makes me very distracted. There are so many new means of such distraction that we all face every day, it’s creating a nation – a global nation – of constantly distracted people. Does this help with out ability to remain focused or does it impede it? It’s hard to say. The jury is still out, as the phrase goes, but being a touch predisposed to ‘distractability’ makes me a candidate for memory loss or dementia later in life.

An Adult Family Home worth its salt will have excellent support for those suffering from age-related illnesses. Do you wait until you are complete out of your depth looking after your loved one? Or do you wait until only the first signs of dementia are setting in? Actually, neither answer is actually right. The best time to consider an Adult Family Home is before you ever need one.

Explore Adult Family Homes in your area ahead of time

We’re all busy. If only I get through this week, I tell myself, I will do a search for Adult Family Homes and visit a couple. Just at the time of life you are most likely to be looking after an aging parent is the time of life you are most busy raising your own kids. More and more, that trip to your teenager’s baseball game is at the cost of spending some quality time with your aging parent who has been living with you for some years. And it’s precisely when the aging parent needs quality time with other humans in their life and in their family.

Do a Google search in the local area for Adult Family Homes. Make a few phone calls and where possible, get your name down on some waiting lists. The better Adult Family Homes will have a waiting list, and they will give you a call when a room opens up. And don’t worry about having to turn an offer down when the day comes and one of them calls you. They will keep you at the top of their list, just like you can let someone ahead of you in a shopping line. No one will expect you to lose your spot, and Adult Family Homes – for every obvious reasons – want to keep a warm waiting list of potential residents so that a room is never vacant.

Make the call, take a tour of any Adult Family Homes that interest you

Good Adult Family Homes have little trouble keeping their rooms filled. When you get that phone call (because you’re on their waiting list) you want to already have toured the place. That way you don’t have to spend time examining the place before you make the move.

Call that Adult Family Home and schedule a your. Take notes and keep them for later.

Keep your loved one fully involved in Adult Family Home selection

It’s a common problem. Your life is so busy, you get used to always making the choice. It might be expedient to rush out and select the Adult Family Home down the street, but the success of any move in the future will pivot on how involved your loved on was in the process from the first day of planning.

Begin packing far in advance of the ultimate move into the Adult Family Home

As I get older, I find I have fewer and fewer things. Today, what I consider of value are a few photo albums, a handful of CDs and DVDs, and a few valuables like my passport and personal paperwork. Oh yes, I and I have a $300 tea-making machine that I would take no matter where I every move to.

The whole idea of an Adult Family Home is that a lot of what a person needs is right there already. Your meals are made for you, and everything from bed linen to kitchen flatware is all there waiting for you. You just have to show up with a small suitcase and call it good. On the other hand, pictures of grandkids, your favorite underwear and probably your personal laptop or something will be most of what you need. But, it’s good to think ahead and know what that list is, even if it is a short one.

Think about what pictures might be nice for your loved one to bring with them. They might be copies of what’s on the wall of your own house. Take the time to prepare and frame excellent versions of those pictures, and consider making it a type of “moving gift”. The key here is to think ahead and be ready. Being fully prepared will make any such move into an Adult Family Home far more enjoyable on the day of the move itself. Even if it brings a few tears of happiness with it.

More next week!