By Tami Pelletier pelletiergroup.com
I spent some time yesterday discussing with a real estate client about our aging parents, both of whom live alone in NH homes. I completely understand that when our parents dig their heels and say" I am not moving"...they really will not move! What do you do when you are faced with this situation where you can see that very soon they really should not be living alone! This may not be an issue so much when you live 15 mins away from them, but it can become a big one when they are 30 mins away or worse yet in another state. I don't think I am alone in this and would love to hear from others on how they are working or not working this out.
Of course services are great in NH if your parent lets them in, which mine does NOT. I know there is help you can hire for meals and cleaning but the problem is my parent likes being in control and even though it is clear to ME that accepting my help or others is what can KEEP them independent my parent is adamant that "Help is not necessary."
What really struck me talking to my client is that his parent was exactly the same way. They love where they live in NH and don't want to be a burden to anyone else. They both have a fierce independent streak that is passionate. That is really great and all as when I'm in my eighties I don't expect to be told what to do either.. don't they deserve to make up their own minds??? Unfortunately for us as their children it is so much more complicated; health, driving, maintenance, finance, YIKES, there is a lot to worry about.
In regards to housing what will this look like when it is inevitable that our aging parents cannot be alone and refuse to go into assisted living or care? I would gladly take in my parent and rework my living space to accommodate their needs, but not everyone has this option. Are in-law apartments or extended family residences going to be more important as our society lives longer?
This is the world we find ourselves in today especially as baby boomers are retiring in droves and elderly parents are living longer. We need to find a solution to this problem with the right balance for everyone involved!