Tag Archives: care for elderly

The cost for caring for our aging loved ones

Caring for our Aging Population

Who will care for our aging loved ones in our new society

Bucks County Home Downsizing

Helping Seniors Move in PA NJThe fact that we are all living much longer is no secret. With our extended longer life come new challenges. In years past, when lifestyles were less complicated, family units were more defined, and marriages and families with children dominated the landscape. Caring for our aging loved ones was easier with more defined roles by spouses and children.

Times have certainly changed. Studies indicate that people over the age of 65 will need some form of long-term care help. Genworth, a leading US company that studies our aging population says that 66% of people over 65 will need extra care. In fact, they say that 70% of this age group will need some form of long-term care for at least three years. It the past, most aging loved ones relied on a family member, a spouse or a partner for help. But what happens today with family and demographic changes, when an individual has none of the above? Who can they count on for help in an emergency or when they get sick?

This is part of a continuing series of articles and tips into elder care and how to address topics such as downsizing, estate sale, content removal, home clean-out, property sale, moving and other real estate transition insights by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Many aging Americans who have children don’t want to be a burden to them, but at least they are lucky enough to have a choice. They may not want to, but older adults rely on family caregivers most of their help. Today, there are over 43 million family members providing some form of elder care for a person 50+ years of age. The 2010 U.S. Census reported that 11 million people over the age of 65 live alone, and that number will likely increase. Even more alarming is that 11.6% of women (ages 80 to 84) are childless, so who will care for them?

Today, society has a totally different view of people without children verses 25 years ago. Many of today’s adults no longer believe that those without children lead empty lives. Recent surveys found that children are less significant to a thriving marriage. In 2007, a Pew Research survey unveiled 41% of adults said that having children was crucial for a successful marriage. This is a huge decline from 65% who said so in 1990.

Since the supply of family caregivers diminish as families get smaller or without children, it’s important to get organized around ones long-term care preferences.

PPM Insights into Elder Care

We at Personal Property Managers, often work within the Senior Community and with Adult Care Givers. We specialize in senior transition services, helping our elderly loved ones transition from their home of many years into senior care communities or to move in with caregivers or other family members. This process if often very overwhelming and our one stop services are valued by those going through a major move and transition. We have learned that there are significant facts about aging care that every person should know and wanted to share them with you. First, what we have learned is that elder care is more expensive than you think. And most of the costs of long-term care come out of your pocket and not through some government or state program. To help you plan for senior care later on, you should understand the details about the services that are and are not covered.

1. Medicare (controlled by each state) does not pay for long-term custodial care services. This is the kind that help you with everyday activities of living needs. Medicare only pays for the medically necessary care like acute medical care, doctor visits, drugs, and a hospital stay.

2. Medicaid is a combined program offered by the federal and state governments. It helps individuals living with low income and assets, and it pays for some of the health care expenses. Medicaid has stringent regulations on who are eligible for the benefits and the services covered.

3. Paying for long-term care out-of-pocket is your option if you have enough money and savings.

4. Health insurance covers the restricted and particular types of long-term care. Disability insurance replaces income and does not include long-term care services and supports.

5. Long-term care insurance pays for long-term supports and services. But before you buy a policy, know the daily amount it will pay to assist you with the activities of daily living requirements.

While we are certainly not insurance agents or elder care attorneys, we do, a large portion of our business assisting adult caregivers in the transition of their elderly loved ones from their home of many years into a senior care communities via our home downsizing, cleanouts, estate sales, and full service discount real estate services. We would like to share with you some tips that we have learned along the way that may help you in your long term care plan. They are:

• Draw up legal documents: a will, a living will, a healthcare proxy and a power of attorney.

• Share a home with like-minded friends and siblings. Create a “share the care” approach that serves each resident equally. Draw up legal papers outlining each person’s responsibilities; one that makes each party accountable.

• Live nearby mass transportation if you don’t drive.

• Choose a walk-able neighborhood.

• Find a trustworthy person or family you can depend on for support and care. Work out a payment strategy and put it in writing. Get legal advice prior to implementing a plan. An elder law attorney can steer you in the right direction.

• Hire a chronic care advocate if you live with a prolonged medical condition, preferably an attorney specializing in elder law.

• Make friends with the supportive type.

• Eat fresh, healthy foods.

• Stay fit.

• Keep your brain sharp by getting involved.

• Volunteer and help those in need.

• Take up hobbies that fulfill your curiosity.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

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How to modify your home for an elderly loved one moving in

Home Modifications When Moving In an Elderly Loved One

Home modifications tips for elderly parents moving in with caregivers

Bucks County Home Downsizing

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With Americans living longer and longer, and with the baby boomer retirement population exploding, and expecting to almost double in the next few years, one option that many families are taking is having elderly parents move in with their adult caregiver children.

We have found that it’s very important to consider certain home modifications so you can accommodate elderly loved ones moving in with you.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into senior care and senior transition services by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers. Personal Property Managers specializes in senior transition services such as downsizing, content clean out and removal, estate sales, full service real estate and property sale and moving and services PA and NJ.

  • Some general safety and room-by-room details to consider include:
  • Make sure to have study handrails on all indoor and outdoor steps
  • Install nonskid strips on or near steps and near the edges.
  • For those with visual impairments, the strips should be a color that contrasts with the color of the steps.
  • Light switches should be located near all entrances to each room, at each end of hallways, and at the top and bottom of stairwells.
  • Lighting should be sufficiently throughout the home.
  • Consider replacing traditional door knobs with lever handles which are easier to operate than doorknobs.
  • Interior doors should have locks that can be opened from either side.
  • Hallways and doorways should be wide enough to accommodate a walker or wheelchair.
  • The water heater should be set at 120 degrees to reduce the risk of scalding.
  • Solid color carpeting with dense pile will lower fall risks. Deep pile carpeting can be more difficult to walk on, and patterned carpeting may cause optical illusions for those who have difficulty with depth perception.
  • To lower fall risks with hardwood floors, avoid wax or high gloss polishes or throw rugs.
  • Avoid room entrances with raised door thresholds.
  • Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be present near all sleeping areas.
  • Check that kitchen cabinets and countertops are a comfortable height, and that there is space to roll a wheelchair under a counter, if needed.
  • A side-by-side refrigerator/freezer will be easier to use than a top-bottom model.
  • Electric or gas stoves should not be positioned under a window because the presence of curtains will increase the risk of fire.
  • Sinks should have a single-lever mixing faucet.
  • The touch pad of a microwave should be large and easy to read, and the device should be in a convenient location.
  • There should be one bathroom located on the main floor of the home, as well as near the bedroom (if the home is multi-level).
  • Grab bars should be present or can be installed near the toilet and tub/shower.
  • Check that the toilet is a comfortable height.
  • It is recommended that the tub/shower has a hand-held spray unit, and a built-in seat or space to utilize a shower chair (chairs are available which extend over the side of a tub if a stall shower is not present, however you will need a curtain instead of shower doors to minimize water escaping from the shower.)
  • A pedestal sink may be needed if a wheelchair or regular chair will be used in front of the sink.
  • The size of the bathroom should be adequate for wheelchair maneuverability
  • Avoid throw rugs and bathmats. The floor should be carpeted (low pile), or matte-finished, textured tile instead of a smooth, potentially slippery surface.
  • Towel racks and built-in soap dishes should be secure and not located where they might be used as a grab bar.
  • One Bedroom should be available on the main floor of the home.

We have learned over the years that these modifications can make a world of difference for your elderly loved one.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Top 7 tips to help you sell your home

Top seven tips and insights to help you successfully sell your home by Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers. Click here to view.

Joean NickNov2011

Having an Aging Loved one move in

Planning on Having an Aging Parent Move In With You

Have conversations up front and define your boundaries to make it a very pleasant addition to your life.

Bucks County Home Downsizing

Helping Seniors Move in PA NJWe often work with families where children are caregivers for their aging parents. Often time medical conditions and sometimes financial decisions necessitate change. This change may mean that your elderly loved one may need to move in to their children’s home.

This is a decision that adult children and caregivers should think though carefully. There’s so much that’s involved. If you move mom or dad in and don’t have discussions on ground rules and space then it’s going to be chaos. If you make a plan and if you have conversations up front and define your boundaries, it can be a very pleasant and very productive addition to your life.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into senior care and senior transition services by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers. Personal Property Managers specializes in senior transition services such as downsizing, content clean out and removal, estate sales, full service real estate and property sale and moving and services PA and NJ.

No matter how prepared you are to have an elderly loved one move in to your home and no matter how pleasant your relationship is, expect the unexpected. You need to be prepared for the role reversal. You need to be prepared for the things that are going to happen so that you don’t blow up so you don’t have an incident that you can’t take back. The only way that this new relationship works is if you find a way to have a real relationship with mom or dad and get rid of those old parent to child roles.

Lastly, if mom or dad are moving in, getting their finances together is the first and most important thing. In addition, plan in advance for absentee care giving when you go on vacation. Having ‘alone’ time with your spouse is important. There are services [and] people you can pay hourly, but the one thing a lot of people miss is that there may be members of your own family who are actually out looking for employment while you’re struggling trying to figure out who’s going to watch mom or dad. One thing that’s worked out very well is having family members come in and have them get compensated instead of paying an outside professional. You want to get creative with your solutions.

We have learned that these discussions [between parent and adult children] aren’t always easy, but they are extremely important at many levels.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Recognizing signs of decline

Recognizing Signs of Decline in your Aging Loved One

Recognizing signs of decline and the need for help of our elderly loved ones the close friend, son, daughter or caregiver of a senior loved one? Have you begun to notice signs that your elderly loved one is having difficulty processing routine daily chores; conversations, and or having trouble remembering name?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes… then this may mean that your elderly loved one may now need help, and may no longer be able to live independently.

Census figures and recent studies indicate that in the next 11 years, our elderly population will double. This means that caregivers and children of elderly loved ones will be dealing with a situation that for many is something that we are often not prepared for.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into senior care and senior transition services by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers. Personal Property Managers specializes in senior transition services such as downsizing, content clean out and removal, estate sales, full service real estate and property sale and moving.

Joean NickNov2011

While we are certainly not medical or health care professionals we often work with adult children and caregivers of elderly loved ones who are going through so form of lifestyle transition. We’ve put together a list of the top 9 signs that your elderly loved one may need some assistance, and whom you can reach out to for that help.

1. Memory loss and Forgetfulness
Have your parents have begun forgetting appointments or bills that need to be paid? Have they been getting lost more regularly? Maybe they have begun repeating themselves or putting common objects in illogical places. Perhaps they forget the dosage for their medicine, or don’t take it altogether.

If this is the case you might want to suggest a formal assessment to help determine your options. Once you know what is going on with your parent, such as is the issue a medical condition or dementia, you will better know how to help them.

2. Mobility issues
Are your parents having trouble walking or getting up from a chair? Take a look around your parents’ home. Is the staircase awkward to navigate, are there slippery tiles, does the furniture create obstacles or are they having trouble getting in and out of the shower? Muscle, joint pain or trouble with knees might indicate that a cane or walker is necessary.

3. Eating issues and loss of appetite Are your parents losing weight, becoming dehydrated, not cooking, forgetting to eat or eating unhealthy? They might be having trouble cooking, reading a recipe, holding utensils or operating a stove, or they may have difficulty with the senses of taste and smell. You may want to check the refrigerator for out of date food. Make sure your parents are drinking and not becoming dehydrated, especially during the heat of the summer.

. 4. Detachment and overall lack of involvement
Is your parent social and active, visiting friends, participating in faith, civic or community activities? Or are they listless with low spirits and a lack of energy? If you’re not sure why, why not simply ask them about it. It may mean eyes should be checked or a hearing aid might be in order.

5. Change in personal hygiene
Is your dad’s hair uncombed and teeth not brushed? Is he no longer going to the barber with usual regularity? Is he wearing the same clothing or inappropriate clothing? Lack of awareness about his personal appearance might be a sign of physical problems, depression or Alzheimer’s. Talk to your parents what you noticed and ask them about it.

6. Change in Personality
Do you notice a change in your parents’ personalities, especially in the evening? Are they talking too loudly or too softly? Are they accusing people of doing or saying things against them, wanting to check on children or displaying other odd behaviors? These may be common signs of sun downing or late-day confusion. You may want to plan activities during the day that include exposure to sunlight and keeping a nightlight on to reduce agitation. Changes in personality can result from other things aside from Alzheimer’s or dementia, which looks different in every individual. You may have to be creative and try multiple strategies to address changes in personality and meet your loved one’s needs.

7. Illness or Physical Disability
If your parents suffer from advanced diabetes or have visual difficulties, such as Parkinson’s or severe or recurring strokes, they may need you to step in.

8. Unusual Amount of Clutter
Is there dirty laundry or unopened mail? Is the house unkempt, especially in the kitchen and bathroom? Does the lawn need mowing? Maybe maintaining the home is becoming too much for your parents to handle.

9. Bruises, Scratches and Burns
Have you noticed unexplained bruises, bumps, scratches or burns? These may be signs your loved one is having difficulty taking care of themselves.

After being independent and self-sufficient for so long, it’s difficult for parents to admit they need help. But it’s important to communicate with your parents, letting them know why you are worried and that you want to help. Then come up with solutions together.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Moving? Downsizing? Top 4 Tips

How to begin downsizing your home – 4 quick tips

The vast majority of the clients who contact us are simply overwhelmed trying to tackle downsizing their home or the home of a loved one. It is physically and mentally draining. Often it entails going through possessions that have been in the house for 40 plus years. Where do you begin?.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into help you you’re your home by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales and marketing, home downsizing, content clean out and removal and estate sales, and services Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Moving from your home of 20, 30 or 40 years is a daunting task. Often our client tell us it’s an …oh my gosh moment….where do I begin?.

Did you know that downsizing and moving ranks as one of life’s most difficult events, along with loss of a spouse, divorce and job change. People feel overwhelmed, and wonder; where do they even start?’
At Personal Property Managers, we understand the emotional toll downsizing and moving can take on our clients and their families. If you are moving from your home of many years into a senior care community or just relocating, our goal is to help you transition seamlessly to this exciting new chapter in life.

Nick Santoro says that of the many challenges of moving, downsizing is the most difficult. Nick says the reason for this is that you have to make decisions about every personal possession in your home. Personal Property Managers is at your side helping you every step of the way.

Santoro suggests viewing downsizing as a process. We suggest that you start with small goals, and plan on sorting for just a few hours at a time.

  1. Sorting through the easiest and obvious first. Choose a room where what needs to go or stay is the most obvious – like your bedroom or a room that’s rarely used.
  2. Using colored stickers, labels or Post-It notes to identify where items will go. More efficient than writing out a list, movers and family members can use the stickers as guidance on moving day.
  3. Assessing practicality and sentimentality. Items that are both practical and sentimental should move with you. Items that are neither should be left for family, sale or charity.
  4. Eliminating duplicate items or items that are the wrong size. Chances are, you only need three sets of towels, not six. If clothing doesn’t fit, don’t bring it with you.

Before the move, Santoro recommends creating a floor plan and determining the practicality of existing furniture. Nick says, “Don’t go out and buy new furniture. Instead, be open to using furniture in new ways.”

Taking measurements of available space is also important. Virginia, a recent client said, “We had large paintings that we really loved, but didn’t think we could bring with us. Nick had our floor plan and measurements and said, ‘Oh, yes we can. I know just where those paintings can go!’”

“It’s the sentimental items that make a house a home,” Nick reminds our clients. “Those are just as important as packing up your sensible shoes and kitchenware.”

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at www.personalpropertymanagers.com or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News StoriesTeam - small size

Tips to stage your home to sell it quicker

10 home staging tips to help sell your home

Are you planning to sell your home? Want to get the most for your home? Is there competition in your neighborhood with respect to other homes similar to yours for sale? How do you differentiate your home from the others on the market? Have you lived in your home for a number of years and have it decorated to your takes but are not sure if your taste will be compatible with a potential buyers? Do you have a life time of possessions filled with memories? Where do you begin? This can be an exhausting and overwhelming process. Don’t worry. We can help. We get calls all the time from people just like you.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights to help you with your home by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales and marketing, home downsizing, content clean out and removal and estate sales. We service Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

One of the areas you may want to focus on is a concept called home staging. This refers to how you have your home furnished and decorated and painted; the basic look and feel that your home presents itself to a potential buyer. It’s all about preparing your home to make it optimally ready for sale in today’s real estate marketplace.

Anything you can do to help buyers see your house in its best light will benefit you and shorten the selling cycle. Home staging is important and can raise the value of your home by as much as 5% to 15% according to various industry studies.

Here are 10 tips that you may want to consider for….

1. De-personalize your home; make it the buyers home
You want to prepare a home so that it invites a prospective buyer to see their family in it, not yours, so you want to de-personalize the home without making it cold. This means removing highly personal items like pictures and religious icons and bringing in things that are appealing to all humans, such as fresh flowers and attractive artwork.

2. Remove clutter from your home, make it look large
Today’s home buyers, particularly younger ones, don’t like clutter — they like clean, open spaces, which becomes particularly important for those selling older homes. The presence of clutter in the form of piles of old shoes, loads of personal pictures, or overloaded and jammed closets and cabinets and garages makes buyers feel like they’re invading the seller’s space and can also indicate to a buyer that the seller doesn’t want to or isn’t ready to move.

3. Neutralize your home
Paint colors should be more neutral to appeal to everyone so that the house feels expansive. You can bring in touches of color, but let the house be neutral and let each room have one focal point, such as the fireplace in the living room or the bed in the bedroom covered with a cream bedspread and red pillows so that it pops. White walls are safe in that they go well with everything and people won’t feel like they have to repaint right away, but they still prefer coffee-colored or another neutral-colored wall. Bright paint colors can turn people off, as can wallpaper, which buyers might see as a project to remove and which become items they start knocking off the selling price.

4. Go green with energy efficient appliances or windows
Today’s home buyers are more sensible and energy-conscious, which translates to a willingness to go smaller and/or renovate. They also have more of a respect and appreciation for energy-efficient and green design.

Make a great first impression in the foyer with a clean, open area and the use of mirrors, which bounce light back and make spaces look bigger. Hard wood floors today are more and more popular and desirable vs. carpeting of years ago

5. Don’t forget the outside of your home
Please remember that by the time a buyer views the inside of the home, they have already formed positive or negative opinions based on their experience outside. You don’t want to create negative impressions for buyers as they pull up to the house. Cracked driveways, broken trees, unclear mailbox numbers, or peeling paint can all detract from your homes value. You also want to maximize the front door experience by ensuring that buyers are met with good lighting, a working doorbell, attractive landscaping, and the absence of cobwebs. Curb appeal is king.

6. Smell check – sent matters
The scent of a home is important and you need to be able to smell your house. As silly as it may sound, do a ‘smell check’ or ask your realtor to do it for you, but pet odors, dampness in the basement, etc. need to be cleared.

7. Walk through with a fresh set of eyes
Sellers become blind to things in their home after 10 days such that they know where light switches are and how not to bump into furniture. When you’re staging, you need to see what your house looks like with fresh eyes — (or in) the eyes of a buyer.

8. Keep closets and storages areas clean
Buyers will open closets to see the storage space available, but it will also tell them a little about the homeowner. Cheap lighting or poor maintenance will tell them the extent to which sellers took care of, or invested in, the home and the seller mentality they might be dealing with.

9. Other areas to take a look at
Make sure that all beds are made, there are no dishes in the sink or clothes on the floor, areas are generally straightened up, and remove any traces of pets, such as dog toys or litter boxes.

10. Make the common sense staging investment
Don’t do more than the home value would justify, but we always tell sellers to consider investing one percent of the home’s asking price on staging activities such as painting a few rooms or staining the deck. These activities can add value to the home, make the highly emotional moving process easier for the seller, and help attract a new buyer who will love the home as much as the seller did.

At Personal Property Managers, we understand the emotional toll downsizing, moving or selling a home can take on our clients and their families. Our goal is to help you transition seamlessly to this exciting new chapter in life.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty.