Senior Hydration Basics during the Dog Days of Summer

August 5, 2019

Summer heat and humidity can put older adults at risk for dehydration. Learn how to keep a senior loved one safe and recognize warning signs of dehydration.

The hot, humid days of summer can present unique safety challenges for seniors. Adults with high blood pressure, for example, need to be especially cautious during periods of high humidity. The summer sun also places older adults at higher risk for heat-related illnesses, like dehydration, sun poisoning, and heat stroke.

Now that the dog days of summer are upon us, it’s crucial for seniors and family caregivers to take intentional steps to stay hydrated.

5 Ways for Seniors to Stay Hydrated during the Summer

  1. Boost fluid intake: To prevent dehydration during the hot, humid days of summer, you must eat the right foods and drink the right beverages. Water is usually best. Your physician can help determine how much you should be drinking based on your weight. If you or your senior loved one don’t care for the taste of water, try adding lemon or lime wedges, cucumber slices, or berries to improve the taste. Increasing the amount of foods you eat that have high water content including melons, pears, cucumbers, leafy greens, tomatoes, carrots, and popsicles can also be beneficial.
  2. Avoid caffeine: Guzzling drinks like iced coffee and soda might taste great, but the caffeine they contain can put a senior at higher risk for dehydration. While 8-ounce cups may not have much caffeine, super-sized cups or having multiple caffeinated drinks can create a problem. Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it causes fluids to pass through your system faster. That fluid loss can cause dehydration.
  3. Limit alcohol: Summer is often a season for celebrations—many of which include alcoholic beverages. Similar to caffeine, alcohol can contribute to dehydration. If a senior will be spending time outdoors in the heat, it’s best to limit or avoid consuming alcoholic beverages.
  4. Review medication side effects: Many older adults aren’t aware that some medications increase sun sensitivity. This means medications can put seniors at risk of serious sunburn rather quickly. These medications may also cause hives, rashes, and dehydration. Review your loved one’s medications to see if sun sensitivity is a potential side effect.
  5. Plan outdoor time wisely: Whenever possible, plan outdoor activities for the coolest times of day, generally before 10:00 a.m. or after 4:00 p.m. Wearing a lightweight hat with a brim at least three inches wide also promotes better hydration by helping shade the face and neck, keeping your senior loved one cooler.

Finally, we recommend learning more about the symptoms of dehydration in an older adult. From irritability to trouble walking, the signs aren’t always obvious.

Common Signs of Dehydration

Recognizing when a senior loved one is experiencing early signs of dehydration will allow you to seek treatment before a more serious health crisis occurs. Here are some of the most common symptoms to lookout for this summer:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritability
  • Sunken eyes
  • Trouble walking
  • Inability to sweat
  • Headache
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Low blood pressure

If an older adult in your community is exhibiting these symptoms, get them to a cooler location and call their physician or 911 immediately for more instructions.

While summer might increase the risk for dehydration, it’s a risk older adults face all year long. At Legacy Senior Living communities, we have programs in place to help residents stay hydrated. Call us today (423) 478-8071 to learn more about this and other safety challenges our communities help address.

The Differences between Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

July 22, 2019

If you aren’t sure about differences between assisted living and nursing homes, this information will help you learn more.

When a senior in the family begins to require a little extra help, sometimes their loved ones can be confused about what type of care they need and how to find it. Because the differences in senior living aren’t always obvious, deciding between an assisted living community or a nursing home can be challenging.

People don’t always know that these are two very different types of senior care. Adult children who haven’t been through the process of finding senior living for a family member often think an assisted living community is just a more upscale version of a nursing home.

There are many myths surrounding senior living that further complicate the issue. It’s no wonder families end up confused and unsure about what type of care is the best solution for their loved one.

To help make your search a little easier, we’ll explain the differences between an assisted living community and a nursing home while also dispelling the most common myths.

Dispelling Myths About Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

Myth: The only difference between a nursing home and an assisted living community is their appearance. Both types of senior living offer the same care and services.

Fact: While these two kinds of senior housing typically differ in appearance, the primary contrast is in the types of care and services that are offered. That’s why it is important to learn a little more about each one.

Assisted living communities are home to older adults who need support with life’s daily activities. Some require assistance with personal care (e.g., bathing, grooming, and dressing) and many need help with medication management. These communities are also known for providing well-balanced meals, and a variety of life-enrichment programs every day.

A nursing home is designed for those who require medical care delivered by skilled health care professionals. For example, it would be a solution for a senior who needs skilled nursing assistance with a wound that won’t heal or an older adult with a tracheotomy that requires respiratory therapy.

Myth: Seniors who need help with medication can only go to a nursing home, not an assisted living community.

Fact: While nursing homes do provide medication management services, so do most assisted living communities. In fact, most assisted living residents receive some type of medication support. Considering some older take 5 or more medications/supplements each day, it’s easy to understand why this service is standard in most assisted living communities.

Myth: Only wealthy people can afford an assisted living community.

Fact: This persistent myth might be caused by seniors and their families not understanding all of the services included in the monthly fee. As they learn more, they discover what a true value assisted living can be.

Many of the expenses associated with maintaining a private home are included in the basic monthly fee at an assisted living community—room and board, utilities, basic cable, local phone service, some transportation, healthy meals and snacks, housekeeping, lawn care, and snow shoveling. Other expenses that are often part of the monthly fee are fitness classes and life-enrichment programs.

Myth: Assisted living and nursing home residents don’t have much to do beyond watching television and playing bingo.

Fact: Both assisted living communities and nursing homes offer a variety of daily activities. They tend to be programs that nurture the body, mind, and spirit. The difference is that activities in nursing homes are designed to work around the medical needs and limitations of residents. Some even offer one-on-one activities, such as reading, with nursing home residents who aren’t mobile.

Myth: The food is always terrible in senior communities.

Fact: This is another popular myth that simply isn’t true, especially for assisted living communities. While nursing home residents may have special dietary needs, such as pureed foods, the staff tries to make them both nutritious and delicious.

Assisted living communities often employ chefs to plan menus and supervise cooking. Residents typically have a choice of several menu options at each meal. Because dining rooms are usually restaurant-style, mealtime is often a social affair that residents look forward to each day.

Senior Living Options at Legacy

If you aren’t quite sure what type of care your senior loved one needs, we’ll be happy to help make that determination. With options ranging from independent and assisted living or personal care to memory care and respite, our team knows and understands how to help older adults find the support they need to live their best life. Call us at (423) 478-8071 today!

How to Talk with Kids about Alzheimer’s Disease

July 15, 2019

Talk with Kids about Alzheimer's Disease

It can be tough to talk with kids about Alzheimer’s disease. If an elder in your family has been diagnosed with the disease, these five tips can help you discuss it with kids.

If a family elder has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you are probably grappling with a variety of unique challenges. The disease can present different struggles at every stage. One challenge that families often encounter early on is how to discuss the disease with young children and teens.

Alzheimer’s is a complex disease that can be difficult to explain and understand, especially for younger family members. We created this tip sheet to share a few age-appropriate ideas and resources to make it easier to have this discussion with kids.

5 Tips to Help You Talk with Kids about Alzheimer’s Disease

Kids may have an especially difficult time understanding Alzheimer’s because of the unpredictability of the disease. For example, a grandparent may remember the grandchild’s name and who they are on one visit, but not the next.

These tips can help you explain Alzheimer’s disease to the kids in your family:

  1. Explain the medical condition: Begin by explaining that the family elder has developed an illness that makes it tough for them to remember things. Emphasize that the senior will have good days and bad days. On bad days, they may act a little different than usual and not be able to remember the children or teens’ names.
  2. No one is at fault: Be sure you take time to reassure children that they haven’t done anything wrong, especially on days when the senior is struggling most. Explain that the changes are all part of the illness.
  3. Not contagious: As the senior’s disease progresses and the children witness changes, it’s important for them to know that the disease isn’t contagious. They can’t catch it like they would a cold or the flu. Also, reassure them that you won’t catch it from caring for the senior either. That may help keep them from worrying that one of you will develop Alzheimer’s, too.
  4. Create an activities list: Before you sit down to talk with the children in your family about Alzheimer’s disease, take a few minutes to create a list of activities the kids and their family elder can still enjoy together. From crafts to art projects and music, people with Alzheimer’s can stay engaged with life.
  5. Learn from other kids: The Alzheimer’s Association developed several video series you can share with the children in your family to help them better understand the disease. Kids Look at Alzheimer’s and Teens Look at Alzheimer’s are especially meaningful because both are produced by kids for kids.

Legacy Senior Living

Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia can be difficult for families to safely manage at home. Wandering, agitation, and aggression are tough behaviors to cope with for those unfamiliar with disease management.

Families often discover that memory care programs are not only the safest solution for a senior, but one that allows a loved one to live their best quality of life. We invite you to call the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you to learn more about memory care options and to schedule a private tour today!

The Unique Challenges of Caregiving for a Grandparent

July 8, 2019

Caregiving for a Grandparent

When the topic of family caregiving comes up, most of us picture a spouse or adult child as the caregiver, not a grandchild. As our population continues to age, however, an increasing number of grandchildren are taking on this role. In fact, estimates are one-in-twelve grandchildren in the US have assumed the role of caregiver.

In 2015, the National Alliance and AARP conducted research on the topic of caregiving for grandparents. They found that 5.3 million adult grandchildren were caregiving for a grandparent. This represents 10% of the family caregiver population. While most are happy to help provide care for a grandparent, they often encounter different types of challenges than other caregivers.

If you or someone you know is a caregiver for a grandparent, these tips might be useful.

4 Meaningful Tips for Providing Care to a Grandparent

  1. Don’t give up your own life: While caregiving for a grandparent who cared for you is important and rewarding work, don’t put your own life on hold. Stay in touch with friends, and make a point of sticking with college or career plans. Ask for and accept help when you need it.
  2. Develop good stress-management skills: Caregiving is stressful and physically exhausting at any age, but especially for younger adults. Adding to that is the emotional stress that comes from watching a grandparent’s health decline. Grandchildren may also struggle to manage college life or early career demands with caregiving duties. Young adults might not have the life experience to develop healthy coping skills. Exploring stress-reducing activities, like meditating, journaling, swimming, or yoga, might be beneficial. It’s also important to learn to recognize and avoid unhealthy coping methods including overeating, smoking, or consuming too much alcohol.
  3. Learn about respite care: No one can do it alone when it comes to caregiving. If no one else in the family can help with caregiving duties, consider utilizing respite care. This short-term care option gives an older adult a safe place to stay at an assisted living community for a few days or weeks.
  4. Connect with a support group: While non-caregiving friends may be able to sympathize, it’s hard for them to understand a caregiver’s life. The peer to peer support of fellow caregivers is best. Some grandchildren might prefer an in-person support group, and others may want to connect with an online support group. Your local agency on aging might help you find one to attend in your local area. If you’d prefer an online support group, The Family Caregiver Alliance and ALZ Connected are two resources to consider.

Respite Care at Legacy Senior Living

If you are a caregiver for a grandparent and you are feeling weary and overwhelmed, respite care might be the solution. Your senior loved one can stay at a Legacy Senior Living community while you restore your sense of well-being. Call the community nearest you to learn more today!

Saluting our Nation’s Service Members on Independence Day

July 1, 2019

If you are looking for ways to thank veterans and those who serve, these tips will give you some ideas.

Among the patriotic holidays our nation celebrates each year is Independence Day. This federal holiday celebrates the day in 1776 when the Continental Congress declared the thirteen American colonies to be free and independent of the British monarch.

While everyone has their own way of celebrating, remember to also salute and thank veterans and active duty service men and women who are integral in our freedom. If you aren’t sure where to start, we have a few ideas you might find helpful.

Thanking Veterans on Independence Day

  1. Volunteer at a veterans’ organization: One way to show appreciation for our nation’s service men and women is to volunteer for an organization that assists veterans. You will likely find a variety of organizations in your community, ranging from Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) halls to veterans’ health care clinics, to donate your time and talents.
  2. Share the stories: Veterans are often reluctant to share their stories of personal courage and sacrifice. It can result in younger generations not being aware of a grandparent’s or other elder’s service history. If your family is celebrating Independence Day together this year, make a point of sharing photos from your loved one’s service days. Encourage them to talk about where and when they served or ask permission to discuss the stories for them.
  3. Explore the Veterans’ History Project: The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress developed a way to gather the stories of our nation’s veterans and preserve them. It is called the Veterans’ History Project. You can participate and capture the story of a veteran in your life by interviewing the veteran or by sharing their correspondence or photos.
  4. Organize a local recognition event: Another way to honor our veterans and those who serve is to organize an event in your local community. For example, collect photos of veterans and active duty service people from your area. Post their photos in a display at the local library or senior center. At Legacy Senior Living communities, you’ll find a “Wall of Honor” filled with the photos and names of residents who served.
  5. Send thank you notes: Several military service organizations arrange letter-writing campaigns to let those who are serving in overseas know they are not forgotten. At your Independence Day celebration, set up a table with notecards and supplies and ask guests to write a few thank you notes. Operation We Are Here and Operation Gratitude are two examples of organizations to partner with.

It is always important to actively remember the reason we are able to celebrate with family and friends every July 4th.

Senior Care Benefits for Veterans

If a veteran you know is struggling with the costs of senior care, they may not be aware of a benefit designed for them. The Aid & Attendance Benefit is coordinated through the US Department of Veterans Affairs. You can review What Families of Veterans Should Know About the Aid & Attendance Benefit to learn more or call Legacy Senior Living for assistance at (423) 478-8071.

How Music Is Therapeutic for People with Dementia

June 24, 2019

How Music Is Therapeutic for People with Dementia

Learn how you can use music as therapy to improve the quality of life for a loved one with dementia

If you have ever listened to a song that sparked a happy memory from the past, you have witnessed firsthand the powerful impact that music can have on the brain. Researchers exploring the idea of music as therapy have found it to be a powerful tool. This is particularly true for those who are struggling with a health condition like Alzheimer’s disease.

Music, Memory, and Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, causes damage to the parts of the brain that are responsible for episodic memory. These are the memories related to specific life events.

Music, however, is learned and remembered differently. Instead of relying on episodic memory, music relies on an association of routines and repetitive activities. The brain stores them using procedural memory, which requires little mental processing.

Memories that are connected to music remain relatively untouched, even in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease. That’s why music can act as a conduit to happy memories among people with various types of dementia.

3 Tips for Using Music As Therapy

Dr. Jonathon Graff-Radford of the Mayo Clinic says caregivers should consider using these three tips when using music therapy with a family member who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a similar type of dementia:

  1. Choose music familiar to your loved one

It might take a little trial and error to determine which musical artists and songs connect with your loved one. Be patient and keep trying.

  • Find music that was popular during your loved one’s youth or young adulthood. It can help evoke memories of happier times in their life.
  • Ask family and friends for suggestions, especially those who grew up with the senior.
  • Pay close attention to the way your loved one reacts to the music. Reminiscing can sometimes be painful, too. If a song appears to be causing your loved one distress, change the music and make note of it so you don’t play it again.
  1. Match desired outcome with the choice of music

Think about what you are trying to accomplish with your choice of music. For example, are you trying to calm a loved one’s agitation? That’s a fairly common struggle for adults with dementia, and one music can often help overcome.

  • Soothing music can promote a sense of calm during mealtimes, personal care times, and right before bedtime.
  • When you are trying to encourage a senior with Alzheimer’s to exercise or do something physical, turn on upbeat music. Just be observant to make sure it isn’t causing agitation.
  • If your loved one is feeling down, a sing-along might lift their spirits. Music from their high school or college days might be especially helpful.
  1. Avoid overstimulation

Make sure the music isn’t competing with other activities or noises in the house. For an adult with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, it can be difficult to process a hectic environment.

  • Turn off the television and close exterior doors and windows if it is noisy outside.
  • Monitor the volume of the music and take any hearing loss into consideration.
  • Select a music channel that is commercial-free or create your own play list.

These tips can help you use music’s healing harmonies to improve the quality of life for a loved one with dementia.

Creating Purposeful Days for Adults with Dementia

At Legacy Senior Living communities, we are dedicated to helping adults with dementia live with purpose. We invite you to join us for a personal tour to learn more. Call the community nearest you to schedule a time.

4 Tips for Making a Smooth Transition to Assisted Living

June 17, 2019

Smooth Transition to Assisted Living

Taking time to prepare for a transition to an assisted living community is vital. These 4 tips will help.

When an older adult is contemplating a move to an assisted living community, they often feel overwhelmed. As do their family members. With so many choices to explore and decisions to make, it’s easy to understand why seniors and their families feel so stressed.

One source of stress often comes from figuring out how to make the process of moving go well. While relocating is tough at any age, for an adult who is giving up their family home, the transition can be emotionally charged.

Here are a few suggestions to make the transition to an assisted living community go a little easier.

4 Tips for Making a Smooth Transition to Assisted Living

Tip #1: Get involved prior to moving.

One step you can take to ensure a smoother transition is to encourage your senior loved one to get involved with the community’s social life before moving day. It’s a great way to meet new neighbors and connect with people who share similar interests.

Another way to get comfortable before moving day is to stop by for a meal or two. Most assisted living communities are happy to have potential residents and their family members enjoy lunch or dinner in the dining room prior to the big day.

Tip #2: Set realistic timelines for moving.

Families often underestimate how much time it takes to downsize and sell a home, even one that isn’t very large. If the senior has lived there for a long time, as many do, it can be physically and emotionally exhausting to clean out their home. Unless this move is the result of an emergency, give yourself time to plan and pack.

Remember, in addition to packing the items that will be going to the assisted living community, you’ll probably need to host an estate sale or garage sale, and arrange to donate unneeded items to charity.

Tip #3: Make the new apartment look familiar.

While it can be tempting to sell or donate the senior’s current belongings and purchase new, it isn’t usually the best way to handle this move. Remember, the senior is relocating to a new environment where they will be surrounded by unfamiliar faces. That can be overwhelming.

Instead, create an environment in their new apartment that looks and feels like “home.” It will likely help your older loved one feel more comfortable and settle in faster.

As you develop a plan for decorating their assisted living apartment, try to include at least a few pieces of their favorite furniture and household belongings. The recliner or love seat they sit on to watch television, bedding from their bedroom, family photos, and familiar wall décor can help the senior feel more at home from the first day they move in.

Tip #4: Understand there will be ups and downs.

As with any major life change, there will be highs and lows during the days leading up to the move and shortly after. This is true not only for the senior, but for family members as well. Your role will likely revert back from hands-on caregiver to spouse or adult child.

For many people, that change can be an adjustment. Give yourself permission to feel down while also making a commitment to accept and embrace the new opportunities this move presents.

If you have questions about assisted living or need more advice for making a smooth transition, we’ll be happy to help. Call the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you for advice!

Helpful Hints for Managing Caregiver Stress

June 10, 2019

Helpful Hints for Managing Caregiver Stress

Managing caregiver stress is vital to staying healthy and avoiding a crisis of your own. These tips will help you do just that.

As our population continues to gray, more spouses and adult children find themselves stepping into the role of caregiver. Sometimes it is short term while the senior recovers from a hospital stay. Many times, however, it is because the older adult has a medical condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.

Juggling caregiver responsibilities with career and family can be difficult. It is important that caregivers learn to recognize the early signs of caregiver overload and know what to do about it. Unfortunately, busy caregivers who fail to do so may end up experiencing a health crisis of their own.

8 Common Warning Signs of Caregiver Stress

Here are some of the most common signs that a caregiver is under too much stress:

  1. Cries or becomes tearful easily
  2. Frequently gets angry or overreacts
  3. Unintended weight gain or weight loss
  4. Develops unhealthy coping behaviors (smoking, drinking)
  5. Sleeps too much or too little
  6. Withdraws from friends and family
  7. Loses interest in favorite hobbies and pastimes
  8. Suffers from headaches, stomach problems, or frequent colds

Taking steps to manage stress before it causes a serious health crisis is important. Here are a few tips for doing just that.

Healthy Ways to Manage Caregiver Stress

When it feels like caregiver stress is beginning to take over your life, a few of these tips may help you get back on track:

  • Respite care: Explore respite care options in your local community. Home care agencies and assisted living communities typically offer short-term support when a caregiver needs a break. An adult day program may also help.
  • Friendly visitors: Some nonprofit organizations, churches, and synagogues have friendly visitor programs that can be lifesaving for caregivers. Volunteers pay visits to homebound seniors to spend time with them. They may just talk and share or they come to read or do crafts. Your local agency on aging can help you locate a friendly visitor program near you.
  • Eat well: When you are pressed for time, it’s easier to grab fast food or rely on convenience foods. Most aren’t very healthy. When your diet is poor, your immune system can become compromised. For a caregiver, a cold or bout with the flu can be especially problematic. If you can’t find time to cook and freeze meals once a week, consider meal delivery services. Silver Cuisine and Sun Basket deliver healthy, pre-cooked meals directly to your door.
  • Exercise: Daily physical activity does more than keep you fit. It also helps manage stress. If your schedule won’t allow for 30 minutes of exercise, you can break these minutes down and still get the same benefit. For example, a 15-minute walk in the morning and a 15-minute bike ride in the afternoon will net the same rewards as 30 continuous minutes of either activity.
  • Journaling: Getting your feelings down on paper frees your mind from carrying a difficult emotional load. It often helps you find solutions to caregiving issues. Journaling to Help Manage Caregiver Stress can give you some ideas for how to get started.

Our final tip is to try to accept that, despite your best efforts, there are times when a senior loved one is better off living in an assisted living community. From a thoughtfully designed environment to a wide variety of life enrichment programs, assisted living helps seniors live their best quality of life.

Call Legacy Senior Living at (423) 478-8071 to learn more!

4 Decisions That Impact Your Ability to Live Your Best Retirement

June 6, 2019

Here are 4 factors to consider before retiring.

Planning for retirement is a complex process. Here are 4 factors to consider before retiring.

As retirement age draws near, many older adults are faced with a variety of decisions. While some are minor, others can impact a retiree’s quality of life. When you are working through your plans for retirement, here are 4 factors to consider.

4 Factors to Consider Before Retiring

  1. At what age you want to retire.

Some people dream of retiring early and sailing off on grand adventures. Unfortunately, it isn’t often a practical choice. While you may be eligible to collect some of your social security at age 62, most people can’t draw their full amount until age 66 or 67.

If you have been able to save enough money, this difference may not make a big impact. It’s important to know, however, that if you opt for early social security benefits, the amount you receive each month will be permanently reduced.

For many older adults, it is health insurance that greatly impacts when they retire. Most seniors are eligible for Medicare benefits beginning at age 65. If you retire before then, you may be able to use COBRA to extend your health care benefits or access an individual plan through the health care marketplace. Both options, however, can take a significant bite out of a retiree’s budget.

  1. Where you want to live after retiring.

From climate to health care, it’s important to think long and hard about where you will live after you retire. Here are a few factors to consider:

  • Climate: Older adults often find southern climates to be a good choice for avoiding winter’s ice and snow. This is especially true for adults with chronic health conditions like osteoarthritis and asthma.
  • Health care: It is important to take into consideration how close you will be to hospitals, physician offices, and other care providers.
  • Public transportation: Many seniors lose confidence in their driving skills as they grow older. Be sure to explore transportation options before making a decision.
  • Cost of living: Some cities and states are much more affordable than others. When trying to make a retirement budget stretch, choosing a location with a low cost of living can make a big difference.
  1. The type of housing you choose.

Along with where you live, it’s important to think very carefully about the type of residence or senior community you choose to live in. Retirement communities typically have multiple levels of care. Most offer what is referred to as a continuum of care. That means you might move into an independent living apartment and later add personal-care services or move to an assisted living suite.

By contrast, if you choose to live in a private home, you will need to consider the expenses you have now and those you will incur in the future. Beyond the mortgage and utilities, you’ll need to budget for assistance with maintenance, home repairs, and basic housekeeping when those jobs become overwhelming.

Seniors who choose to age in place often need to modify their homes with ramps and barrier-free showers. Many will also need the support of an in-home care provider.

  1. What your priorities are in retirement.

Finally, think about what is most important to you. Are you looking to retire and move closer to your children and grandchildren? Or are you looking for freedom to travel more and be less tied down?

Living with purpose is an important part of aging well. Some find that purpose is found in family relationships, while others say volunteer work and continuing education is key. Be honest about what your hopes and dreams for retirement are, and use that as your guidepost in making decisions.

Retire at a Legacy Senior Living Community

With senior living communities located throughout the southeast, you are sure to find a Legacy Senior Living community that meets your retirement criteria. Call 423-478-8071 to learn more today!

Tips for Choosing a Senior-Friendly Realtor

May 27, 2019

If you or a senior loved one are searching for a realtor, these tips can help you find and interview potential candidates.

Moving can be physically and emotionally exhausting. In fact, mental health experts rate moving as one of life’s most taxing events. It’s right up there with losing your job or getting a divorce.

Added to this stress is the sentimental aspect of moving. It is fairly common for a senior to have lived in the same house for decades. That can make parting with the home even more difficult. Finding a realtor who has experience and training working with seniors is the can help make the process more manageable.

Common Reasons Older Adults Relocate

Seniors move for many reasons, but there are a few that are the most common. In a study conducted by a relocation specialist, the top three reasons cited were:

  • Declining health: 34% of older adults surveyed said their move was caused by a change in health.
  • More freedom: 10% of respondents were looking for a more carefree lifestyle and fewer home-maintenance burdens.
  • Problems keeping up: 42% of older adults said they were no longer able to keep up with home repairs and maintenance.

Having a licensed real estate agent who understands each of these situations can help make this transition go a little more smoothly. That is one reason the National Association of Realtors created a special designation for realtors who work with seniors.

Choosing a Senior Real Estate Specialist

A realtor who has earned the Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES) credential has undergone additional training. They know the unique challenges older adults face as they prepare to sell their home. You can use your zip code to search the National Association of Realtors online database for a specialist near you.

Once you’ve found a few good candidates who seem capable of selling the senior’s home, it’s time to schedule an in-person interview with each one. If you live too far away to be able to do that, try to use a video chat service like Skype to conduct the interviews.

Here are a few suggestions to ask each of your realtor candidates:

  • What led them to seek the SRES credential?
  • How many seniors have they helped sell their home?
  • How do they go about setting a price for a senior’s home?
  • How do they approach the sale of an older adult’s home differently than that of a younger family?
  • What will they do to market the home?
  • Do they offer advice on staging or other ways to help the senior earn top dollar for the home?
  • How successful is their track record for getting the asking price for a home?
  • Are some months better than others when it comes to selling a senior’s house?
  • Do they have experience working with any senior move managers or moving companies in the area?

Our final tip is to ask for a reference list of families they’ve helped sell a home. That can give you a better understanding of how well they work with and are sensitive to the needs of older sellers.

If you are a senior or an adult child of one looking to make a move, we hope you will keep Legacy Senior Living in mind. With options ranging from independent and assisted living to memory care, we have a variety of solutions for older adults to consider.

Call us at (423) 478-8071 to set up a personal tour!