How to Transition Aging Loved Ones to New Housing in Kansas City

Under any circumstances, moving can be stressful and somewhat chaotic. There are a whirlwind of things to plan for, and expenses rack up quickly. Simply speaking, transitioning from one place to another is hard work. 

But for our aging loved ones, that stress could be mixed with feelings of anger and sadness. Many older adults who have to leave their homes see this transition as a loss of freedom and control because they’re forced to leave behind the life they worked hard to gain for decades.

Therefore, it’s important that you understand the toughness of the transition and do your best to make the process as easy and painless as possible. 

Our clients at Paths Elder Law trust us because we’ve seen it all when it comes to caring for your elderly loved ones. We are experts in helping people manage the twists and turns life can throw, including moves to nursing homes or assisted or independent living.

You don’t have to go through this alone.

Our team of elder law attorneys and eldercare professionals are here to help. Read on to learn how to transition aging loved ones to nursing home, assisted or independent living in Kansas City. 

*This blog is for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The use of the Paths Law Firm website does not constitute a client-lawyer relationship.

Step One: The big decision

Deciding to move your aging loved one isn’t an easy feat, but despite how difficult it is, you shouldn’t hold off. Take the time to understand your loved ones’ needs for healthy living. 

Are they properly taking care of themselves? Do they seem happy? Do they have the mental and physical capacity to live on their own?

These are all questions you should consider when juggling the choice to transition your loved one out of their home and into a nursing home, assisted or independent living. 

Know the signs

You may be asking yourself, should I move my mother to assisted living? If you don’t know the signs of aging, you’ll never find your answer.

7 Tips to Help Transition Mom From a Home to an Apartment

To keep things simple, all people need to be able to complete these six daily functions to be considered independent:

  • Getting out of bed
  • Going to the bathroom
  • Controlling the urge to go to the bathroom
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Eating

You can monitor your loved one to see how well they are doing with these functions. This may take some time, especially if you’re not around on a regular basis. If you’re able, talk to your loved one’s neighbors and friends to get more insight. Oftentimes they will be a reliable source of information while you’re away. 

Monetary problems

A big part of maneuvering through life is the ability to pay bills, taxes, and purchase necessities. Unfortunately, elderly adults begin to lose this ability as they age. Medical issues such as dementia can hinder them from remembering even small financial tasks. Basic math can become hard to calculate, which in turn leaves them vulnerable to mistakes. Bills may pile up, leaving your loved one trapped under a financial strain they simply can’t handle. 

If you begin to notice that your loved one is losing control over their finances, it may be a sign that they need to move somewhere they’ll no longer have to worry about money. The last thing you’d want is for some family member or friend to scam them.

You can always schedule an appointment with an elder law attorney to help you protect your loved one’s finances and other assets

Isolation

It’s normal to want to be away from people every once and awhile, but humans are a social species. We need interaction with others to maintain our peace of mind. However, older adults may begin to isolate themselves from family and friends. This could be to hide symptoms of aging or because they no longer can be social without assistance. 

Isolation can come in many forms, but some common signs we’ve seen with our clients at Paths Law Firm include:

Depression. Your loved one might feel hopeless and depressed without a sense of community. Depression could also be an indicator of other health conditions such as dementia

Addiction. To dull the feeling of loneliness, some older adults may adopt bad habits such as excessive drinking or prescription drug abuse. 

Loss of interest. Notice if your loved one has stopped doing the things they once enjoyed. If they begin isolating themselves, they pull away from their usual activities. 

Messy living area

There comes a time when an elderly adult can no longer take care of their home. This is usually due to their physical inability to move around the way they need to. Whenever you can, visit your loved one to see how he or she is living. A dirty home can lead to bacteria infestations and a hosts of diseases that could leave your loved one vulnerable to major health risks. 

Poor hygiene

It’s important that all independent people are able to cleanse themselves. If you begin noticing an odor coming from your loved one, they may not be able to do the basic function of bathing. Embarrassment could cause them to suffer in silence rather than speaking up. 

Caring for aging parents checklist

Step Two: Time to plan

Once you’ve determined that your aging loved is best cared for in a nursing home, assisted living or independent living, you should make a detailed plan outlining your next steps. This is a big decision that shouldn’t be left to the wind. The more you plan, the better you can prepare. And the better you can prepare, the easier the transition will be for everyone. 

Remember that this could be a distressing time for your loved one. The loss of control and independence takes time to admit and accept. Be patient and empathetic during this time. 

Nurse with elderly woman

Find a facility

The goal should be to find the best nursing home, or assisted or independent living place for your aging loved one, a place where they can thrive and live happily. Senior living comes in many forms, so you want to understand the specific needs your aging loved one has before making the decision. 

Get advice

If you have a support system, use it. Never try to go about this on your own hunch if you don’t have to. The best people to give you advice are doctors, other family members, your loved one’s friends, and elder law attorneys. You’ll want to talk with them about what kind of facility would best benefit your loved one. This will include understanding their physical, mental, and medical support needs. 

Types of facilities

Nursing homes: Nursing homes provide 24/7 care to residents who need more in-depth care. This will be for someone who needs constant support and help, and all nursing homes require a Registered Nurse to oversee their residents.

Assisted living: Assisted living homes are similar to nursing homes in terms of constant care, but usually people who are in assisted living can still do some daily functions on their own. 

Guide to Transitioning Your Aging Loved to Assisted Living

Independent living: Independent living is a great option for someone who doesn’t need much assistance or medical help. Independent living is more like living alone, but with a greater sense of community. 

Collaborate with your loved one

The most important thing you can do is to involve your loved one in the facility choosing process. They’re the ones who are going to have to live there, not you. So you want them to feel in control of their life decisions. 

You can do this by taking tours of different facilities with them. Ask them what they like and don’t like. Find out what they prefer in their next home. At the end of the day, it’s their preferences that matter.

How to talk to aging loved ones

Create a budget

Moving costs money, but if you make a budget, you’ll be able to better manage how much you spend. This comes with understanding average costs of the type of facility you choose, factoring in additional medical expenses, and calculating general moving fees. 

Research your options that’ll help you pay for the new housing. Options may include:

  • Insurance
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Veteran’s benefits
  • Reverse mortgage
  • Personal funds
  • Other family members

You don’t want to dig yourself in a financial hole when transitioning aging loved ones to new housing in Kansas City and they likely wouldn’t you to.

Note: Once you come up with a logical budget that you can follow, be sure to stick to it and only stray if absolutely necessary. 

Get legal affairs in order

Part of planning is to start making legal decisions. Finding an elder law firm that thoroughly understands elder care is crucial. Paths Law Firm is the best elder law firm in Kansas City to help you plan to transition your aging loved one to new housing. 

Services we offer:

Step Three: Finalizing the move

preparing to move

The final step to transition aging loved ones to new housing in Kansas City is the move itself. By this point everything else should be ready to go, and all that’s left is the transition. 

Before the move

Clean and organize the house

Whether you’re putting your loved one’s home on the market or keeping it in the family, before the move is the perfect time to clean up and do general maintenance.

It may be hard for your loved one to get rid of old items, so go through things with them. What is valuable? What can be given away? Do some items need to go to storage? Take your time with this process, because some items are memories and have been collected throughout the years. 

Start packing in advance

Don’t wait until the last minute to start packing. This will only leave you rushing and stressed. If you pack throughout the span of weeks or even months rather than days or hours, you’ll find that the process is a lot smoother for everyone involved. That’ll also give you more time to continue to organize your loved one’s belongings. 

Consider your budget 

You’ll want to keep your budget in mind when moving. Hiring full-service movers may be the easiest route, but it’s almost always the most expensive option. Decide what’s best for you and your family. That might mean you can hire a mover, or you might have to just rent a truck and move items yourself. Research different moving options and costs so that you can find the best option within your planned budget. 

During the move

Make sure that logistics have already been settled. You’ll want your loved one to be fully aware of what is going on that day, and have a place for them to stay in the meantime if they’re unable to help. 

Pro tip: A great way to stay organized is to have a checklist prepared for moving day. That way you can make sure that all boxes and furniture go to their proper places.

This is a time for you to assure your loved one that this is the best option for him or her. Let your loved one know that the move is not the end, but a new beginning full of opportunities to try new things and meet new people. 

Once you get to the new home, help your loved one decorate. If you can, bring in decorations from the old house to help them feel more at home. This will help ease the transition to help your aging loved one feel less out of place. 

After the move

When your loved one is settled, it’s time to let go and trust that the nursing home, assisted living or independent living place you’ve chosen is fully capable of doing its job. You may feel guilt, but rest assured that you have made the best decision that’ll be better in the long run. Build relationships with the caregivers and/or nurses who will be tending to your loved one. That way if you have any concerns or questions, you won’t hesitate to reach out. 

Try to visit as often as you can to show your loved one just how much you care. Seeing a familiar face can help them keep a positive mindset during this new stage of life. It also gives you the chance to see how well they are faring the changed environment. 

Let Paths Law Firm help the transition

Our focus is to provide excellent legal support to all of our clients. We understand that transitioning your aging loved one to a new housing in Kansas City is difficult, and we want to help. 

We always listen, and we always care. Let us know how we can help you with your next steps by scheduling a consultation with an elder law attorney today.

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Community Relations

Jeane M. Fracassa

Community Relations

Jeane M. Fracassa

Jeane Fracassa – a dedicated and accomplished professional who retired with an impressive 38-year service record from the Kansas City Missouri Police Department. Throughout her illustrious career, Jeane served as a Civian Supervisor in the Communications Unit, where she played a pivotal role in ensuring efficient and effective communication within the department.

Even in retirement, Jeane’s commitment to community service remains unwavering. Currently, she serves in various capacities within Community Relations at Paths Law Firm. Actively engaged in the Lee’s Summit and Overland Park communities, she proudly represents the law firm.

In all aspects of her life, Jeane Fracassa exemplifies the values of community, compassion, and family. Her commitment to making a difference and her love for exploration make her a remarkable individual, whose presence brightens the lives of those she encounters. Whether at work, with family, or during her travels, Jeane’s genuine care for others and her zest for life make her a truly remarkable and inspiring person.

Administrative Assistant

Laura E. Messer

Administrative Assistant

Laura E. Messer

Laura is the Law Firm’s marketing assistant, supporting all marketing tasks, including managing calendars, researching upcoming events, updating marketing software and spreadsheets, and partnering with organizations to maintain relationships that benefit Paths Law Firm’s clients.  Laura is also the law firm’s professional photographer as she provides the professional photographs for the headshots, organizations, events, and networking.

Laura has over 10 years of experience as a professional photographer.  She is also Adobe and Microsoft Certified.  She graduated from Columbia College, Columbia, Missouri with her Bachelor of Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude, in Behavioral Psychology (minors in Social Work and Criminal Justice), and her Photographic Craftsman degree from Professional Photographers of America. She is certified as a Qualified Mental Health Professional, Certified Gentle Teacher, Medicaid Billing Certified, Crisis Intervention Counselor, and a Missouri Notary.

Laura has been married more than 26 years and has a daughter and a son. She has four brothers, a niece, and a nephew. Her four spoiled pets that love her attention. A lot of Laura’s off time is spent taking photos and she is an internationally published photographer. Laura owns a studio on the historic Independence Square. 

Administrative Assistant

Holly D. Bramble

Administrative Assistant

Holly D. Bramble

Holly is our newest member of the administrative team. She is hardworking, has proven organizational skills and excellent communication skills. Holly has transitioned to the Estate Planning field from healthcare administration where she gained valuable knowledge that has contributed to her success here at Paths.

Holly enjoys spending time with loved ones, cheering for the Chiefs, and relaxing on the beach.

Administrative Assistant

Tressa L. Purdy

Administrative Assistant

Tressa L. Purdy

Tressa has the important role of being a client’s initial point of contact as the law firm’s receptionist for all locations.  She also welcomes, assists, and cares for clients at the Lee’s Summit office. Additionally, she provides support in an administrative capacity for the attorneys, staff, and clients.  When you meet Tressa, the first quality many note is her readiness to be of assistance.

 

Tressa is a graduate of Park Hill High School with extensive administrative experience and executive level management. Tressa brings a stability and comfort to the law firm experience having worked in a variety of industries and having lived in six different major metropolitan cities.

 

Tressa has a daughter, two sons, and one grandchild.  In her free time, she enjoys her family and friends, loves being outdoors, gardening, bike riding and bird watching. Indoor hobbies include scrapbooking, painting cookies, and cheering on Chiefs football. She is a Kansas City native but enjoys traveling but is always happy to be back in her hometown.  

Attorney

Kathleen E. Overton

Attorney

Kathleen E. Overton

Kathleen Overton is an attorney and owner at Paths Law Firm. She has more than 17 years of experience advocating for those with special needs and navigating the state and federal agencies formed to help the disabled and elderly. At Paths Law Firm, Kathleen’s practice focuses on helping the elderly qualify for nursing home Medicaid, creating estate plans to protect beneficiaries, as well as a lot of time planning and forming businesses. Kathleen also enjoys helping clients form non-profit organizations and obtain 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.

 

After attending law school at the University of Oklahoma, Kathleen began representing clients before the Social Security Administration. Eventually her practice switched to federal court appeals and Kathleen spent years representing clients before the Eastern and Western District of Missouri, the District of Kansas, and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Kathleen has since focused her practice on estate planning and elder law after watching clients struggle to find ways to financially care for loved ones with special needs or aging parents.

 

Kathleen lives in the Northland with her husband and four children. She spends her free time attending soccer matches and ballet performances with her children and starting endless home improvement projects with her husband. 

Medicaid paralegal

Tena K. Dooley

Medicaid Paralegal

Tena K. Dooley

Tena is a Medicaid Paralegal.  She is very meticulous and organized.  She works closely with the attorneys, clients, and State representatives. 

Tena has an associate in applied science and has over 20 years of office management experience. She has two daughters and one grandson.

Tena enjoys spending time with her family.  She enjoys everything outdoors and her hobbies include fishing and gardening.

PARALEGAL & ACCOUNTANT

Sydney R. Morris

PARALEGAL & ACCOUNTANT

Sydney R. Morris

Sydney is the law firm’s internal accountant and one of their experienced paralegals having been with Paths Law Firm since 2017. She is a primary point of contact for estate planning and business planning.

Sydney graduated with honors from the University of Missouri Kansas City in 2022 with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting. She is a Bloch Launchpad, Phi Theta Kappa, and National Honor Society alumni.

In her free time, Sydney enjoys spending time with her husband, reading, baking and going on long walks. 

SENIOR ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Christy L. Phillips

SENIOR ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Christy L. Phillips

Christy has three years of experience in elder law working for seniors and their families. She is currently the Senior Administrative Assistant and organizes the day to day functions of the office and makes sure everything runs smoothly. When asked why she loved what she does, Christy said at Paths Law Firm, she gets the opportunity to help clients in more ways than one. Her favorite parts of the job are getting to know the clients and helping them get their questions answered. 

Christy’s experience in the finance industry has been extremely beneficial to her role as the Senior Administrative Assistant. Christy has a special place in her heart for the elderly and attributes this to the relationship she had with her grandparents. 

Christy was raised in Ogden, Utah and moved to Independence, MO, when she was ten years old. She has been with her high school sweetheart for 25 years and they have two beautiful children together. Her daughter works in the medical industry, and her son currently attends High School and plays Baseball. When Christy is not working, she enjoys crafting and spending time with her family and friends.

Christy’s experience in the finance industry has been extremely beneficial to her role as Benefits Coordinator. There have been many influences that went into her decision to select the field of Elder Law. Christy has a special place in her heart for the elderly and attributes this to her relationship with her grandparents.

When asked why she loves what she does, Christy said that at Paths Elder law, she gets the opportunity to help clients in more ways than one. Her favorite part of her job is getting clients approved for Medicaid or VA benefits as it is a huge relief for them and their loved ones.

Christy was raised in Ogden, Utah, and moved to Independence, MO, when she was ten years old. She has two children that keep her busy and fill her life with joy! Christy’s daughter cheers for Avila University, and her son plays competitive baseball for the Bucks and races BMX locally for the Motorcycle Closeout Team.

When Christy is not working, she enjoys crafting and making homemade gifts for her loved ones and raising her kids to be healthy, happy, and positive humans.

 

Practice Areas

  • Medicaid Benefits
  • VA Benefits

 

Professionalc Memberships and Affiliations

  • Missouri Notary

FINANCIAL MANAGER

René A. Fracassa

Rene A. Fracassa, Paths Law

FINANCIAL MANAGER

René A. Fracassa

René is the Financial Manager at Paths Law Firm overseeing all aspects of revenue, expenses, and financial planning. She is also responsible for general office management, including assisting in many of the administrative matters that periodically arise. 

 

René earned her Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, Missouri and soon thereafter worked her way through management at The American Restaurant where she worked almost 17 years before relocating to the country of China.

 

René is the Financial Manager at Paths Law Firm overseeing all aspects of revenue, expenses, and financial planning. She is also responsible for general office management, including assisting in many of the administrative matters that periodically arise. 

 

René earned her Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, Missouri and soon thereafter worked her way through management at The American Restaurant where she worked almost 17 years before relocating to the country of China.

 

René is the Financial Manager at Paths Law Firm overseeing all aspects of revenue, expenses, and financial planning. She is also responsible for general office management, including assisting in many of the administrative matters that periodically arise. 

 

René earned her Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, Missouri and soon thereafter worked her way through management at The American Restaurant where she worked almost 17 years before relocating to the country of China.

 

René is the Financial Manager at Paths Law Firm overseeing all aspects of revenue, expenses, and financial planning. She is also responsible for general office management, including assisting in many of the administrative matters that periodically arise. 

 

René earned her Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, Missouri and soon thereafter worked her way through management at The American Restaurant where she worked almost 17 years before relocating to the country of China.

 

In her spare time, René is currently quite active managing multiple generations of her family, including parents and grandkids.  René has had great impact on the lives of many women teaching discipling and teaching and abundance of Bible Studies. Her former career in management and event planning trained her well to juggle all the activity.

MARKETING MANAGER

Hilary R. Tichota

MARKETING MANAGER

Hilary R. Tichota

Hilary plays a vital role in managing the Marketing Department at Paths Law Firm.  She is excellent at bringing new ideas and sharing valuable resources with the law firm and our community. Hilary has been with the law firm since the beginning, working in nearly every role which is invaluable in her marketing endeavors as she brings a unique set of skills into the Marketing Department.

Hilary is nearly complete in her Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Marketing at Park University.  She has earned the honor of being listed in National Honors Society, Phi Theta Kappa, and the Dean’s List. Hilary is always looking for new and innovative ways to share the law firm’s message.

While not working, Hilary spends her time with her family at their rural home. They tend to their chickens and honeybees and enjoy the solitude of country living.

SR. PARALEGAL & OPERATIONS MANAGER

Jennifer A. Bronson

SR. PARALEGAL & OPERATIONS MANAGER

Jennifer

Jennifer is the Sr. Paralegal and Operations Manager at Paths Law Firm.  She oversees the firm’s probate department as well developing, implementing, and managing all the firm’s administrative processes having been with the law firm almost from the beginning.  She enjoys client contact as well as behind-the-scenes operations.

 

Jennifer began her legal career in 1990 as a legal secretary.  She has worked in small and medium sized firms, as well as court operations.  She has her Paralegal Certificate from Boston University, Law Office Management Certificate from University of Central Missouri, and she is a Master Financial Coach. 

 

Jennifer has two daughters, twin sons, and twin grandsons.  She spends as much time as she can with them.  She enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, and tending her yard. 

ATTORNEY

Russell A. Fracassa (Rusty)

ATTORNEY

Russell A. Fracassa (Rusty)

When asked what he wants to do, his reply was “I just want to sit at the kitchen table and work directly with people.” Rusty enjoys working with clients providing experienced advocacy and supporting them through their unfamiliar and overwhelming situations. Due to all the challenges faced by seniors, it is essential to work with an experienced elder law attorney who has expertise in the law, issues, and concerns affecting seniors and their families.

Rusty brings more than 30 years legal experience and expertise working for seniors and their families as an elder law attorney in Kansas City and surrounding. Prior to law school, Rusty was an accountant and his first couple years practicing law was as a tax attorney. This provides invaluable experience in his current practice of law. Rusty’s focus is helping protect seniors’ assets from taxes and long-term care costs, benefit qualification, and navigating more complex family scenarios in their estate planning.

Rusty has personally experienced the loss every parent fears, caring for a spouse suffering with cancer and the treatment, and working with aging parents through all stages of their lives.  He intimately understands the challenges faced by individuals and their caretakers when capacity or health declines, how to prepare for it, and the legal matters while in the midst of it.  He may not be able to eliminate his client’s grief, but he strives to provide clients with peace of mind.

In 2010, Rusty’s faith and love led him and part of his family to China as Christian missionaries. He and his wife, went permanently, but ended up dedicating 3 years to that ministry. They returned to Missouri to help with grandchildren after a family tragedy and later began anew with Paths Elder Law. The goal is providing compassionate care through legal advocacy.

Rusty has multiple degrees and advanced study spanning his Bachelor’s of Arts in Business Administration – Accounting at Rockhurst College (now Rockhurst University), Masters of Arts in Accounting and in Intercultural Studies, as well as his Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Law.

When Rusty is not practicing law, he enjoys spending time with his family, grandchildren, and excessive eating at local restaurants.

Practice Areas

  • Wills and Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Asset Protection
  • Medicaid Benefits
  • VA Benefits
  • Probate
  • Guardianship and Conservatorships
  • Education

 

BSBA and Master’s in Accounting, Master’s in Inter-Cultural Studies, and Doctorate in Juris Prudence

  • Rockhurst University
  • Liberty University
  • University of Missouri – Kansas City


Admissions to Practice

  • Missouri


Professional Memberships and Affiliations

  • State Bar of Missouri
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (long-time Member)
  • Elder Counsel (Charter and Ongoing Member)
  • Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys (Past Member)
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Missouri State Bar Committees – Elder Law, Estate Planning, Probate