Photos: Courtesy of Manchester Living
When is it the right time to think about aging in place?
I recently visited my last living uncle in St. Petersburg, Florida. My uncle is 99 and in amazing health.
His wife, age 96, is not in such good health and is confined to a hospital bed at home. They are living with my cousin, who is taking loving care of them. Watching them interact was both heart-grabbing and wrenching. They have been married for more than 70 years. They live life as a unit, finishing each other’s sentences, recalling words for each other, and yes, fussing at each other.
And watching my cousin go full-circle and take care of his mother was beautiful.
Would my son do the same? Could he? My cousin and his wife feed her, patiently dole out medications, get up with her during the night, clean up after her, and even sponge bathe her all the while keeping an eye on my uncle as he “putters.” Caretakers do come to the house to relieve them, occasionally, under Florida’s Medicaid program. As you can see, everyone wants to retire in Florida.
But most children are not able to care for their parents the way my cousin is. For one thing, he is retired and already lived in Florida. Like his dad, he is healthy, vibrant, and active, and his wife is an active participant. But caring for ailing parents or relatives is a 24/7 job that can take its toll on the caregivers physically and financially.
Planning For Retirement
Recently, PropertyShark, the folks who are usually telling us what Millennials are doing, conducted a survey with Americans aged 45 and older on housing, retirement, and finances. Key take-aways have profound implications for real estate: