“It Can’t Happen Soon Enough.” The Role of Readiness in Residential Moves by Older Parents

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My father moved from his home of 92 years to a care community in a distant location. This is the story of his move, from the perspective of a gerontologist and soon-to-be young-old daughter. I describe the events that prompted my father’s decision to make the move, how I chose the care community, the transition arrangements, and the outcomes. I discuss key factors that contributed to the successful transition, all with a focus on readiness. Other factors included drawing on my knowledge as a gerontologist, using informal networks to identify a care community, visiting the care community repeatedly, and communicating openly and often with family. I briefly describe my father’s quality of life after the move. I examine my experiences in the context of relevant research in gerontology, recommend how gerontologists can manage transitions to care communities for their aging parents, and offer suggestions for research.

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