My father is 92 and living on his own. He is overall in good health and is highly independent, but he is widowed and struggles with depression.
We would like him to consider moving closer to family or to a community living facility. Any move would be very daunting since he would be downsizing, developing new habits, and meeting new people, so I am looking for some method to help him work through this change. Do you know of anything like this?
Thank you for contacting Ask Extension. Navigating the challenges of aging relatives and loved ones can be difficult.
It can be challenging to suggest moving to an elderly relative, but getting support from other family members or trained professionals can give you more time to bond with the relative and meet their emotional needs rather than all of their basic care needs. Potential benefits of moving your father to a community living setting include increased social contact, recreational activities and rehabilitation services.
The following publication outlines strategies for discussing life changes such as a new living situation, as well as other tips for managing your own personal well-being and stress levels as a caregiver:
- Coping with Caregiving: How to Manage Stress When Caring for the Elderly, OSU Extension (see page 23 for information on moving a family member to a care facility)
Resources for home care
If your father decides to continue living independently or move in with a family member, these resources are great for maintaining his health and safety:
- Nutrition for Older Adults, OSU Extension: As energy demands decrease with age, nutritional needs change. There are also suggestions fro dietary changes to manage any symptoms of chronic illness.
- Disaster Preparedness for Older Adults and Their Caregivers, OSU Extension: This video explains why older adults are at a disadvantage during natural disasters and offers preparation strategies.
In addition, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) provides a lot of useful resources, including:
- Family Caregiver Resources for Oregon
- Family Caregiving: This is the AARP’s Family Caregiving website provides tips and tools to help you care for a loved one. It has valuable information about handling medical issues, health records and advance directives, home safety, financial and legal issues, caregiver life balance and much more.
- AARP HomeFit Guide: Tips on how to make a home comfortable, safe and a great fit for older adults.