As a Chatham NJ home and real estate agent, I’ve toured many homes for sale in New Jersey. I’ve fallen in love with my local towns and many Millburn-Short Hills homes I’ve visited with New Jersey home buyers and sellers. I’ve seen beautiful Summit estates and Maplewood condos, but until recently I’d never considered where an elderly person (like a parent) would live once they needed care and were “forced” to move from their home.
Unfortunately, I found myself not only considering it, but having to make a decision, quickly. My mother fractured her hip while alone in her NYC apartment and it wasn’t her first fall. My sister and I were advised to find an assisted living facility as her new residence. The costs in New Jersey were staggering running anywhere from $4-$10,000 a month depending on the level of care and accommodations.
I started our “home” search immediately, wanting to be within close proximity to my Chatham home. I visited no less than 12 residences before I finally found the one that I “thought” would meet my mother’s standards and give us enough time to work on my mother’s reluctance and fear to make this change.
Unfortunately, the place I chose was not as close as I would have hoped and the commute for me was difficult. My mother thought the place was “very fancy” with all the bells and whistles but they promised more than they delivered. The level of dementia among the residents was extremely high and finding people for my mother to “talk to” was rare. So, the decision was made to make another move.
I went to visit a few more facilities in the area and decided that location was critical and we chose Juniper Village in Chatham, which is one mile from my Chatham NJ home. My mother had now moved 3 times in 4 months, not of her own will, and was not adjusting to her new circumstances well. Being 87 years young and having her independence taken away has been a challenge.
As it was no longer feasible for her to be on her own and she had some strong opinions, the time had come to hire an Elder Care Attorney who would be able to handle the legal roadblocks that might hinder elder-care choices (and there are many!). Talking to your family about finances, durable power of attorney, and all legal factors is no picnic! We chose Hauptman and Hauptman in Livingston, NJ to facilitate our discussions and process and have found them to be a life saver.
My mother’s move from her apartment in NYC has been a six week journey. She has kept that apartment for 40 years and never thrown out a paper cup. Suffice it to say, the move was not something I could do alone. My friend and colleague, Pam Carlson of Ready Set Organize was a gift from the Gods!
Pam was at our side every step of the way. From completely taking charge of the move to consoling my distraught mother and even taking the time to buy her flowers on their way home from the city, she made the move possible! My mother and I are still adjusting to the changes in our lives. We “boomers” have to be prepared and know what our options are, and the true lesson learned from this is that professionals know the questions you won’t even think to ask, when it comes to life transitions such as these.
If you can relate or find yourself in a similar situation and need help selling your parent’s home, please give me a call. I can help!