The Difficult Decision – Should I Move My Parents?


Elder care expert, Stella Henry, R.N., author of The Eldercare Handbook (HarperCollins, 2006) says moving your parents in with you, to a nursing home or assisted living facility  “is probably one of the hardest decisions a child will ever have to make.”

If you’re facing it, you know that’s true. It is a emotional issue because your parents might not be realistic about what it takes to live on their own.  It is also a very practical issue, affecting your finances, your time,  and your lifestyle.

So experts advise you to start talking about it sooner, rather than later.  You want to make a smart decision with as much of your parents’ input as possible.

Henry says “ninety-five percent of [her] clients come to [her] in crisis situations.”

In the end, this can lead to strains on your relationship with spouses and parents. It can also create a disorganized move and the forced sale of a home, which can cost everyone more money in the end.

Studies have shown that moving is the third most stressful life event — behind death and divorce. And that’s just a “typical” move, not one that involves the emotions of relocating parents or loved ones. Of course, these decisions are very personal, so I’m not going to tell you how or when to make that decision,  but I can give you a few tips on how to handle the practical side of things.

While, it is tempting to think you can manage it all yourself, you need to be honest about what else is on your plate. If you have a busy schedule, it’s probably best to go ahead and get someone else to manage your move.

Here’s a quick list of all the details you’ll face beyond just selling the home:

• Creating a moving plan

• Cleaning out and up the house

• Minor and major repairs

• Selling, storing, or giving away unwanted stuff

• Get mover estimates, hiring movers, packing

Whew! That’s a lot and it’s why we offer our clients an added service — not only do we help them sell their property, we also have transition coordinators who help plan and to end.

In addition, we have a network of highly-skilled professionals who sell high-end valuables and antiques, liquidators who purchase just about anything else, and charities that receive donations and provide tax deductions for unwanted items. We can also help you pack, set up movers and clean and repair a  home for a  quicker sale.

Contact Ed or Lisa Yannett if you need help transitioning your parents to a new living arrangment. You can reach them at 912-844-9000 or visit