Friday, November 4, 2011

Eldercare Moving Tip: Corral Your Kin to Get the Job Done

Your to-do list stretches to the sky. Why? Your parent is moving to retirement or assisted living. But how will it to happen?

A few days ago two siblings and spouses sat at my table. Their 85-year-old mother was lonely and wasn't eating. Her income was low. Our affordable retirement community worked for her. But Mom hesitated. Subject to Mom's approval, the siblings set the date and "the team" sprung into action.

"Be sure to take Mom to Social Security within the next few days to get her benefit letter," one daughter said to a brother-in-law.

The group started assigning tasks including:

1. Financial paperwork--one daughter with expertise tackled the job

2. The "talk" with Mom and subsequent tour and lunch--a son and son-in-law decided Mom might feel "ganged up on" if the whole group met with her. Their approach worked and Mom got on board.

3. A main contact and a back-up for me during the process--two siblings gave me business cards. As the financial approval process moved forward, or if I needed additional information, I emailed them.

4. Move-day organization--one son-in-law took on the job, contacting grandchildren about availability of strong, healthy young adults.

5. Change-of-address forms, shut-off utility notices, and television and telephone installation--another sibling said "yes" to the job.

This doesn't include all the tasks, but you get the idea. The process of "Divide and Conquer" is working. My first and second contacts are keeping in touch, and I with them. Things are getting done, and people are talking.

Best of all, Mom is warming up to the idea. Her move date is set for November 19.

But what happens when you're all alone helping your parent or parents move? How do you tackle that huge job? Good question. If you have some answers, please share. I'll also treat that subject in a future post.

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