Need advice with relocating my elderly mother to live with me in Florida.

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Re: Need advice with relocating my elderly mother to live with me in Florida.

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@ScottN28610 wrote:

I am moving my mother from New Hampshire to Florida to live with me. I would like advice on how to cover all the details related with the move; Social Security, Medicare, finding a new doctor, In home care services, assisted living facilities, etc. I would love to speak to someone who has personally done this themselves so I can best prepare on what I am getting myself into. Any advice would be helpful.

Thank you. 


I did this for my mother but her moves were more local in nature but some of the same things apply.

I was also my mother's Guardian for a long time so I knew all about her personal and financial matters.

 

If your mother has already set up her own accounts with Social Security and Medicare, her change of address is not a problem; nor is changing her direct deposit info and many other things.  She can appoint you as her Representative on Medicare so that you may speak to them on any relevant item.  The same is true of Social Security - she can appoint you as her Representative Payee in advance so that you may also manage these funds for her if and when the need arises.

The SSA does not recognize any POA which maybe in place but this does help if your mother cannot assign you because of some physical or mental condition.

Social Security Administration: Online Services 

 

Time to start learning all about Medicare, if you don't have a working knowledge now.

You have to find out HOW your mother gets her Medicare benefits now -

Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage Plan - once you know that, you can proceed to make the needed changes but the way she gets these benefits determines the direction of the changes you will need to make.  You have to know this to even find her a new doctor.

 

Is your mother considered low income in the state where she lives now - will she be classified as the same in the new state?  Does she get extra help at the federal level on her Medicare?

With what insurer does she have a Prescription Drug plan?  Is it stand-alone or meshed with a Medicare Advantage Plan?

 

As far as finding Assisted Living - or any sort of senior living - Independent, Assisted Living, Long Term Care, or even a Personal Care Home - I highly recommend A Place for Mom - they find out what you are looking for, your mom's needs, they give you a list of places in the area where you want to look and then you (or maybe you and your Mom) do the looking.  You can work via appointment to get the "pitch" but then when you narrow down your choices - show up unannounced to evaluate the place without administration hovering over you.  Course this might be modified or not permitted due to Covid-19 - don't have any idea of what problems this may cause you.  It is a difficult time in finding such a place currently due to this reason.

 

Remember, in FL especially,  to evaluate their disaster preparedness due to Hurricanes.

 

In-Home Services might be better at this point and time due to Covid-19 but even there, you have to make sure the people you pick know how to protect your mother and themselves.  If you or your Mother is a "self-payer"  as opposed to Medicaid paying, you can interview Agencies or Independent Caregivers at the whatever level of care that your mom needs. 

 

My state (Georgia) keeps a list of all licensed residential living facilities and in home care agencies.  They must comply with state law and are reviewed by the state for compliance periodically.  The state also investigates any mishaps or complaints - these reports are available for people to view online.  Other info details about the facility or agency is also available to view.  Your state probably has something similar.

 

I hope your mom is looking forward to the move to be closer to you - if she isn't, that creates other problems -  Good Luck.

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AARP Expert

Re: Need advice with relocating my elderly mother to live with me in Florida.

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@ScottN28610 

 

It might be helpful to engage a local senior move manager to handle the actual packing, move etc. (find one at the National Association of Senior Move Managers)  and/or geriatric care manager/aging life care expert (find one at the national Aging Life Care Association) to help you manage the details of the move such as Medicare, SS, etc. They generally have experience moving people from state to state. (If you are in the Boca Raton area I actually know one personally whom I've worked with who is great!)

 

To find out about in-home services, contact your local area agency on aging and ask what services are available, costs etc. They generally will do an in-home assessment, but some may be doing this over the phone during COVID-19. You can find your area agency on aging by going to the Eldercare Locator at Eldercare.acl.gov and put in your zip code, or you can call the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116.

 

You can hire in-home caregivers directly or go through an agency. This article, How to Hire an In-Home Caregver, outlines the ins and outs of both approaches as well as pros and cons. 

 

If you don't hear back from anyone else here in the online community who has done this, you might want to also join AARP's Family Caregivers Discussion Group on Facebook if you have a Facebook profile. I moderate the group and I know we have some Florida family caregivers in there as well as members who have moved loved ones and it's always good, as you say, to talk with someone who has done this!

 

During this time of COVID-19 risks, it will also be important to take into account quarantine times and how to manage it all safely. Some assisted living facilities won't take new residents right now, others will. We have frequently updated info on everything related to COVID-19 at aarp.org/coronavirus and aarp.org/caregiving.

 

Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving

 

 

Let us know, as @JaneCares says, if you have specific questions related to the move! 

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Re: Need advice with relocating my elderly mother to live with me in Florida.

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Big task!

There are really practical articles on this web site, among them:

https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/home-care/info-2017/moving-loved-one.html

and

https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/home-care/info-2017/moving-plan.html

 

I just searched for 'moving' and found that and more.  

Having done this for my father, i can say that its a good idea to allow way more time than you think you need. Tasks like downsizing the belongings, helping her decide what she wants to bring, photographing things she wants to remember but doesn't actually need to pack... All of this takes patience. More patience than most of us have.

 

My tack was to share the tasks with my sister, keep myself breathing deeply so i could address my father's anxiety and grief, which of course he hid with an overlay of irritability, and deal with my own stress while maintaining a job and family responsibilities.

 

I'd also recommend that you keep a folder with all the bills and organizations you need to contact, including social security, pensions, etc. Voter registration! Everything... in one place.

 

Are there particular aspects that worry you most?

 

Good luck!

 

Jane

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Need advice with relocating my elderly mother to live with me in Florida.

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I am moving my mother from New Hampshire to Florida to live with me. I would like advice on how to cover all the details related with the move; Social Security, Medicare, finding a new doctor, In home care services, assisted living facilities, etc. I would love to speak to someone who has personally done this themselves so I can best prepare on what I am getting myself into. Any advice would be helpful.

Thank you. 

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