nursing care planning

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.

Contact

Educational Seminar at Paths Law Firm

Paths Law Firm provides a Free Educational Elder Law Seminar every month to help you plan for your future.

Administrative Assistant

Ryan D. Foley

Ryan Foley at Paths Law

Administrative Assistant

Ryan D. Foley

Ryan graduated from the UMKC School of Law in 2018 and passed the Missouri Bar that year. Prior to law school, Ryan attended the University of Missouri – Columbia where he attained a degree in Business. He is a Kansas City native, growing up in the Northland where he achieved his Eagle Scout rank by doing a project for his high school. During his time in law school, Ryan was introduced to the practice area of Elder Law by one of his professors and has been

Ryan enjoys working with and educating clients to provide advocacy and support during the unfamiliar and often overwhelming probate process. Ryan understands the challenges faced by individuals when faced by the uncertainty and complexity of government systems or even handling a Trust during a time of grief, and he strives to make the process as easy as possible.

Administrative Assistant

Makaylee A. Morelli

administrative assistant at Paths Law

Administrative Assistant

Makaylee A. Morelli

Makaylee is currently working on her bachelor’s in political science and hopes to soon start law school as an aspiring attorney. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her friends and family but most importantly her dogs Taffyta, Tallulah Belle, and Harry. Their favorite thing to do is go on coffee dates and get pup cups.

Attorney

Kathleen E. Overton

Kathleen Overton, attorney at Paths Law

Attorney

Kathleen E. Overton

After starting her career as a disability attorney, Kathleen transitioned into estate planning at a mid-sized regional law firm. Kathleen joined Paths Law Firm in 2021 when she decided to return to a boutique law firm that provides excellent service and quality to clients. Because of her background as a disability attorney, she brings a thorough understanding of public benefits to each client meeting. At Paths Law FIrm, Kathleen focuses on traditional estate planning and business entity formation, providing tailored advice unique to each client’s situation.

Public Benefits Assistant

Tena K. Dooley

Public Benefits Assistant

Amanda D. Martin

I have my Associates in Applied Science and have over 20 years of office management experience. I have two daughters and one grandson.

During my time away from the office I enjoy spending time with my family.  I enjoy almost everything outdoors and my hobbies include fishing and gardening.

PARALEGAL

Sydney R. Morris

Paths Law elder law in Kansas City

PARALEGAL

Sydney

Sydney is currently enrolled at the University of Missouri-Kansas City pursuing an accounting degree and plans to later attend law school.

In her free time, Sydney enjoys spending time with her nephews and volunteering at her local church.

 

CLIENT SERVICES MANAGER

Christy L. Phillips

client service manager at Paths Law

CLIENT SERVICES MANAGER

Christy L. Phillips

Phone: 816-640-8635
Email: [email protected]

Christy has 3 years of experience in Elder Law working for seniors and their families as a Benefits Coordinator processing Medicaid and VA applications. Prior to joining Paths Law Firm Christy worked in the finance industry for over 10 years.

 

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

René has worked along side Rusty for 35 years. Not only is she part of the Paths team, she is also his wife. René spends her time working with the accountant to keep all of the finances in order, as well as general office management.

In addition to helping run the office, she helps manage the family and grandkids, tries to keep everyone fed, and has a passion to teach Bible Studies. Her former career in Event Planning trained her to juggle all the activity. She understands Rusty’s passion to serve people from the first mention of law school. It is a great pleasure for her to be an important part of every area of his life.

 

MARKETING MANAGER

Hilary R. Tichota

Hillary at Paths Law

MARKETING MANAGER

Hilary

Hilary plays a vital role in the daily operations of the office. In addition to her regular office duties, Hilary has a heart of gold.

For more than 5 years, Hilary has operated the front desk at Paths, running the office and catering to clients. Hilary recently moved into the role of Community Relations Coordinator. She has a passion for people and a focus to share our business practices with the community’s seniors, businesses, and clients. She especially has a heart for seniors, showing they are loved through her visits, treats, the “Pen to Pal” program, and volunteering services at various senior living communities. She is a wonderful wife and mother of two. Most activities with seniors involve her great talent for any type of craft.

 

SR. PARALEGAL & OPERATIONS MANAGER

Jennifer A. Bronson

Jennifer, senior paralegal

SR. PARALEGAL & OPERATIONS MANAGER

Jennifer

Jennifer has been in the legal field for over 25 years and considers Paths her second home.

When she’s not running the office or working for our clients, she’s spending time with her first passion – her children.

ATTORNEY

Russell A. Fracassa (Rusty)

attorney at Paths Law elder law

ATTORNEY

Russell A. Fracassa (Rusty)

Phone: 816-640-8635

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 nearly 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 a practicing accountant. This provides invaluable experience in his current practice of law. Rusty decided to put his focus on helping the elderly, vulnerable adults, and their families navigate challenging life, end of life, and death events.

Rusty understands the challenges faced by individuals whose capacity is declining and how upsetting the loss of a loved one can be. He understands he may not be able to eliminate his client’s grief from loss, but he strives to provide clients with peace of mind. Rusty works directly with client’s long term care issues, including Medicaid, Veteran’s Benefits, Estate Planning, Asset Protection, and Special Needs Planning.

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.

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