Steps to take when you need to move a parent into an assisted living facility
It’s always hard when you need to move a parent into assisted living. There’s a lot of emotion as you see your loved one age and in need of more help. It can be depressing, confusing, stressful and definitely time-consuming.
Sometimes, this is a gradual process, and you’ve had time to adjust and prepare yourself; sometimes, it’s a sudden surprise due to severe fall or hospital emergency or diagnosis and you are still is state of shock or denial. Either way, your parent needs your help. So, it’s important to try to quickly deal with and put the emotion aside and then focus on the task to be done.
Of course, if you live far away, this process is even more difficult. So, here’s some advice on the practical steps to take so that you can focus and minimize the time spent on this task and help get your parent settled as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Confront the issue, don’t deny or delay it
While it may be emotionally difficult to deal with the issue, the sooner you address it and solve it, the better off your loved one will be. And, delaying will just cost you more and prolong the stress and uncertainty.
Moving a parent to assisted living and choosing the right facility can be difficult, and many research and research and they end up in analysis paralysis…and as a result put off decision making. And, this is the worst thing you can do.
Definitely, do your research. But, be sure to make a decision soon. You will probably find this article super handy if you haven’t yet chosen an assisted care facility: 8 Assisted living search mistakes to avoid.
Determine short term and long term plans for your parent
Let me preface this by saying that everyone’s situation is different. This will vary based on your parent’s needs, their financial situation (as well as yours), your needs as well as their current living situation and whether it is safe for them to return to their own home.
In some cases, the priority is to move your parent into a facility ASAP. For others, it may be better to find an immediate temporary fix (e.g. have them stay with you or another family member or find temporary in-home care so you know your parent is safe). This can be extra difficult if you don’t live near your parent.
While you want to try to minimize the number of moves for your loved one, you may also need to pause for a short while to make informed decisions as well as assess and gather assets. There is no one size fits all solution here.
Also, sometimes this comes as a surprise, especially if this is triggered by an unexpected emergency visit to the hospital. And, as a result, you are unprepared and may not have had some of the tough and legal conversations with your parent. Note: pending on their physical and mental state, you may need to get power of attorney documents signed.
Determine your parent’s financial assets
You will need to understand your parent’s assets and importantly, how much they have in liquid assets (e.g. money in the bank, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc.) as well as their non-liquid assets (e.g. house, car, artwork and other precious items.
This will help you understand what your parent can afford both short-term and long-term.
For many, their house is their largest asset. But, of course, you won’t be able to capitalize on this until after it’s sold. (More about this below.)
For some, when there are limited savings or liquid assets, time is of the essence when it comes time to sell your parent’s house. If you live on Long Island and need to sell fast, we can help. At Long Island Cash Home Buyer, LLC we buy houses for cash and fast…often within 2 to 4 weeks (see our contact info below).
Other times, you may have enough liquid assets to finance your parent’s move and support them for 12 months while you work on cleaning out and selling your parent’s house. In our experience, it often takes up to 6 months to prepare the house for the market and the average time on market for Long Island is 6.5 months (assuming the house is in good condition and priced correctly).
Before you sell, you will need to clean out your parent’s house (see: Supplies needed to clean out your parent’s house). Then, you may also want to hold an estate sale to sell some items (see: How to hold an estate sale).
Please note that when selling an older parent’s house, there is often a lot of deferred maintenance, especially if they have lived there for a long time. You will likely need to fix and update the home to maximize your value (e.g. paint, sand the floors, repair items, etc.) This, of course, costs time and money (and often you will only recoup around 70% of your investment).
While you want to fix and prepare the house the house for sale, this does cost money. In addition to the obvious outlay for repairing and preparing the home, there is the less obvious cost of waiting and maintaining the house (e.g. real estate taxes, insurance, maintaining the property, etc.).
Here on Long Island, we found that the average carrying cost of maintaining a home comes to nearly $20,000 for every 6 months. You can read more about that in this article, How much does it REALLY cost to have your Long Island house sit for 6 months? So if it takes you a year to do the combo of preparing the house and selling/closing, that’s a cost of almost $40,000 for the year.
Liquidate Assets ASAP
Note: before liquidating assets, you may want to check with your CPA or financial advisor both for general advice and for tax implications. They may help you prioritize what you should liquidate first and the tax implications. Pending on your financial situation, as well as where we are in the calendar year, there may be times where it makes sense to wait or to expedite types of assets that you liquidate.
It’s most important that you have some funds to somehow pay for the assisted living facility for the first 6-12 months, even if it will take you longer to free up some of the other assets such as the house.
Evaluate options and costs
You want to be well informed with financial information – the value of your parent’s assets as well as projected costs for assisted living, as well as the costs associated with preparing and selling the house). You need this information so you can make the best decisions on where your parent will go and which assets you want to liquidate now vs later.
Be informed so that you can think rationally and also so you can be realistic. This will enable you to make smart choices and make them more quickly while keeping your loved one comfortable and safe.
Gather multiple perspectives on senior housing options. Get input from friends and relatives who have gone through this. Leverage input from local facebook groups (if you are part of one…most towns have groups for Town A Moms or Town A Parents, so ask for a recommendation on there). Consider hiring a senior living advisor.
Do your homework. Check out the place(s), interview people there and read reviews. But, try to avoid postponing a decision for fear of making the wrong decision. The only bad decision you can make is to not make one.
Sorting through your parent’s personal items
At some point before the move to assisted living, you will want to sort through your parent’s personal items, especially the items that they would like to take with them to the assisted living facility. When you do this, it will depend on the state of your parent’s health as well as their state of mind. If they are well enough and would like to be involved in the process, let them. If they don’t want to be involved, that’s fine, too.
Organize and sort items that will go with your parent, what you will keep and what you will sell (or toss). Allow your parent to reminisce and take your time. Remember, these are not just objects, they are memories. And, this may be your parent’s last time in their home and their last time seeing these objects.
Sometimes it’s hard for them to part with items and of course their new space will be limited. A good solution for this dilemma is to take pictures of the items and place them in an album (or upload them to their phone) so that they can still keep them with them.
What if you need to sell the house FAST? What if you need the cash right away?
Yes, sometimes you’re in a bit of a bind and need some money quickly to be able to fund your parent’s expenses for assisted living. This can happen if your parent hasn’t saved enough for retirement and/or has had large medical bills. And, this happens more often when you parent unexpectedly gets sick.
If your parent owns their house, this is probably your best way to raise the money for assisted living. Selling a house on Long Island can take time – often 6 to 12 months…and you may not have time to wait that long. If that’s the case, you should explore selling your parent’s house to a cash investor – someone who can buy it quickly and for cash.
If you live on Long Island, we can help. At Long Island Cash Home Buyer LLC, we buy houses for cash. We can usually close in as little as 2 to 4 weeks, if that’s what you need.
Rather than spending a lot of money (and time) on preparing the house, you can avoid the hassle. Long Island Cash Home Buyer LLC makes it easy to sell your house.
When you sell your home to Long Island Cash House Buyer LLC, you don’t even have to make any repairs before you sell. We will buy your house even if it needs a lot of repairs. We are here to reduce your financial burden so that you don’t need to come out of pocket.
We’re here to help you.
Conclusion for when you need to move your parent into assisted living
It’s always emotional and overwhelming when you realize you need to move your parent into assisted living. While it’s easier said than done, try to remain objective and focused. And, try to make well thought out decisions quickly and rationally.
The sooner you make decisions, the sooner your loved one will be settled. And, the sooner you’ll have peace of mind. It will also free you up so you can focus on spending quality time with your loved one, rather than trying to figure out all the logistics.
When it comes time to sell your parent’s home, we’re here to help. We can expedite the process and quickly free up some cash for you so you can pay for your parent’s expenses in an assisted living facility.
Here at Long Island Cash House Buyer, we make things easy and fast for you. First, we will buy your house “as is.” Yes, “as is!” We will fix whatever issues the house has (i.e. we will take care of all the repairs, any tax liens you may have and we can even clear out all the extra “stuff” and/or mess).
There are no costs for you…no real estate fees or closing costs.
And, best of all, we can usually close in 2-4 weeks!
If you are interested in learning more about the cash home buying process or are ready to talk to Richard Witt about selling your home for cash, please give us a call today at (516) 330-6940 or fill out the quick property evaluation form below. We look forward to working with you to sell your Long Island Home quicker than any other alternative!
- Supplies for cleaning out your parent’s house
- How to hold an estate sale – step by step
- Watch outs when managing a vacant house
- Home maintenance checklist for vacant homes
- What does it REALLY cost to have a house sitting on the market for 6 months
- Can you sell a house “as is?”
Do you need to sell your Long Island house quickly?
Since 1998, we have been a trusted source for the latest information in regards to selling your home fast for cash on Long Island. We will have an honest conversation with you about the benefits and disadvantages of a quick cash sale of your property. If it is not right for you then it will not be right for us. It must be a win-win situation.
- We have purchased hundreds of homes with cash since 1998
- We have over $5,000,000.00 in funding available to purchase Long Island homes.
- You will always get cash at the closing.
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- We will purchase your home as-is, in its present condition, no matter how much work is required.
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We are the buyers. We are interested in buying your home- not in listing it as a Real Estate Broker.
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How To Move Parents Into Assisted Living