Denver Broker Associate Beth Baker Owens, of Your Castle Real Estate, lists five top tips on how adults can assist their senior parents in downsizing their living situation.
Once people become senior citizens it is common for them to want or need to simplify, have less work, or downsize their space. The change may be as simple as reorganizing the house and getting some help with household chores and cooking. Other times, more assistance is needed and caring for a home is too much work. Unfortunately, some seniors cannot adjust as needed on their own. To help children of senior parents downsize, Owens lists the following five tips:
No. 1: Sort through the belongings. “Consider what you cherish and need in your current lifestyle. Seniors choose what they will keep and what can be distributed to family and friends or donated,” said Owens, a Senior Real Estate Specialist. “Sometimes it helps to have an organized family member or an estate sale professional help to sell any items that can be sold. You and they don’t have to do it all. The jet ski or the welding equipment may no longer be what your parents use in their current lifestyle. Grandma’s pictures may be important touchstones.”
No. 2: Determine the next lifestyle step. Health and finances play a large role in what options are available to people as they age. What are your parents’ preferences? Do they want to be closer to the family? Would the full services of a retirement home be better? Would a retirement community be a more fun place to live in now? Do they need assistance by a visiting angel at home or much more help from staff at an assisted living condo? “The goal for most people is to keep as independent as possible, as long as possible,” added Owens. “As a dear older friend’s mother said, ‘everyone needs people their own age to play with.’ Where will you be happy and well?”
No. 3: Engage your family and parents through the process. “Don’t do it all on your own. If your parents are independent, ensure your parents don’t feel alone in the process nor like they are being told what to do,” stressed Owens. “Open communication throughout the entire process is key. This is their choice, after all. It requires a very delicate balance as your parents age, between what they need when they get less physically or mentally capable and their free will.”
No. 4: Get the home ready. When a transition must occur, it may mean selling a home when your parent moves out or fixing up their home to meet the needs of their aging body. “Their current home can be accommodated to meet their needs by installing grab bars, door levers and walker-friendly flooring. Some cities have grants for making such modifications. If they are moving out, prepare their home to be sold by making the home ready for a typical buyer for the neighborhood,” stated Owens.
No. 5: Make changes to the will or trust, if necessary. “Review and modify the will or trust documents to reflect any changes made during this transition; i.e., home sold, items distributed, etc.,” concluded Owens.
About Beth Baker Owens, Your Castle Real Estate
Beth Baker Owens is a Broker Associate with over twenty years of experience. As a Senior Real Estate Specialist, she has extra training in working with seniors. She has facilitated real estate transactions for hundreds of clients across the Colorado Front Range. Owens has been awarded the Denver Five Star Professional Award for Realtors several years. Your Castle Real Estate is located at 2755 S. Locust Street, Suite 150, Denver, CO 80222. For more information, please call (303) 550-2941, or visit https://yourcastle.com/team/BethBakerOwens/. You may reach her by email at BethBakerOwens@yourcastle.org.
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