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Living Home Alone with Dementia is Safety Balancing Act

Posted by Joe B. Nester on May 6, 2015 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The safety of a loved one living alone at home is a concern for a lot of family member caregivers. A study conducted by John Hopkins in 2013 found significant issues when looking at 254 home assessments they performed with people living alone with dementia and 246 interviews with their informal, non-professional caregivers. The study found  99% of the people with dementia and 97% of their caregivers had one or more unmet needs. 90% of those unmet needs were safety related.

 

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There are many safety issues facing a person living alone with dementia. The person may not have the ability to make good decisions about their day to day care. Falling, wandering, malnutrition and an inability to take care of personal hygiene are some of the complications that can contribute to an unsafe living condition.


 

In addition to the physical challenges of staying safe in the home, a person with dementia will often feel isolated and alone. Loneliness can lead to depression and further lower quality of life for the individual.


 

The study also showed that more than 60% of the people with dementia had medical needs related and unrelated to their dementia. The researches surmised that earlier and better routine medical care could significantly reduce the number of potential future hospitalizations within the study group.


 

The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in that same year reported that most caregivers have multiple unmet needs, including lack of access to resources and referrals to support services and education about how to best care for a loved one with dementia.


 

Planning ahead is one way to limit exposure to safety issues when a loved one is diagnosed with dementia. The caregiver should look within the community to see what resources might be available. Help with meals and transportation are two important areas to research. Durable Medical Equipment companies will often do free home assessments and point out areas in the home that can be improved with simple solutions. Education is an important part of the equation and senior care providers can be a good source of information for caregivers.


 

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/living_at_home_with_dementia


http://www.alz.org/i-have-alz/if-you-live-alone.asp#safety


Senior Care Real Estate Needs – Joe B. Nester serves the Real Estate Needs of our Senior Clients. Joe is currently a licensed Realtor and the Director of Internet Marketing for Agapé Senior. Visit link and ask Joe any question about Real Estate and Senior Care. Or call (803) 730-7269.

 



 


Creativity and Patience Required for Small Spaces

Posted by Joe B. Nester on April 30, 2015 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

 

If you think about the way you spend time within your home, you may be surprised at how little space you actually occupy out of the total space available. I recently moved from a small three bedroom two bath home that was approximately 1400 square feet into a 550 square foot efficiency apartment in the center of downtown.





While living in the house I had consciously or unconsciously picked out my favorite areas of the home and spent the majority of my time moving between those areas while ignoring the rest of the house. My life within the space revolved around my desk in the living room which had the best natural light, the guest bath because it was more convenient than the master, a bedroom and the kitchen. In essence I was only occupying one third of the available space in the home.


When I moved to my downtown apartment my goal was to create a cozy retreat that only utilized the amount of space I required. The reason I chose the apartment was because it has three large windows across the front that flood the space with natural light and I could instantly see my desk positioned in front of one of the windows.


Every space offers challenges and my new apartment had plenty. Some of the furniture I brought with me from the house was just not going to work there. You will need to be flexible, creative and patient when moving into a small space and transforming it to fit your lifestyle.


Evaluating the things you currently own and making smart decisions about how they may or may not be utilized in the new space will be critical. If they will not work, put it on Craig's list, consign it or donate the item and start looking for the right piece.


Look at the space with a creative eye and think about the potential for multiple purposes. Look at going vertical, horizontal or any other innovative way to squeeze usefulness out of every square foot. But most of all have patience and realize you will not create the perfect space overnight. It will take time and experimentation to get it right. I have been in my apartment for a month and there are still several containers filled with things that are looking for a new home within my new home.


Don't go it alone. There is a plethora of information on the internet about people and companies with a passion to live small. Here are a few links to get your creative juices flowing.


https [:/] /www.pinterest.com/mycornerview/small-space-living/

http [:/] /www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/rooms_ideas/small_spaces/

http [:/] /www.tumbleweedhouses.com/



Senior Care Real Estate Needs – Joe B. Nester serves the Real Estate Needs of our Senior Clients. Joe is currently a licensed Realtor and the Director of Internet Marketing for Agapé Senior. Visit link and ask Joe any question about Real Estate and Senior Care. Or call (803) 730-7269.



 




Listing Your Home and Competing for Buyer

Posted by Joe B. Nester on March 30, 2015 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)

 

Listing a home and placing it on the market is a multiple step process that a real estate agent performs with the help of the seller. One of the most important aspects of selling a home is setting the asking price. There are a lot of factors that can affect the fair market value of a home and having a experienced agent guide you through this step will dramatically increase your chance for a sale.

 


The nuts and bolts of the listing agreement consists of an accurate inventory of everything in and around your property that is going to convey to the purchaser. This inventory will be categorized within the Multiple Listing Service and will give all member agents a snapshot of size, number of bedrooms, number of baths and all the other features your home has to offer. This information is used as agents research properties for their buyer clients.


 

Once the price has been determined and the property is listed, it is time to show it off. This is where creativity, quality images, virtual tours, video and great descriptions can be produced to make your property a stand-out among the competition. A buyer searching on the internet today can look at dozens of properties within minutes so your property will need good internet visibility and look its best to get noticed.


 

The instructions for agents to show your property are also determined by the seller and that information is placed in a secure data base that only agents have access to. As a seller you will want to make the showing process as simple as possible. Too many restrictions will limit your number of showings and reduce your chance for a sale.


 

Keeping a home in show condition can be a challenge while living there but it can pay-off. If an agent is in your neighborhood showing other properties and the buyer wants to see yours at the last minute it will create another opportunity for a sale if it can be shown.


Senior Care Real Estate Needs – Joe B. Nester serves the Real Estate Needs of our Senior Clients. Joe is currently a licensed Realtor and the Director of Internet Marketing for Agapé Senior. Visit link and ask Joe any question about Real Estate and Senior Care. Or call (803) 730-7269.

 


Helping Senior Clients with Home Inspection Reports

Posted by Joe B. Nester on March 9, 2015 at 5:40 AM Comments comments (0)

A home inspection is something a lot of senior clients have never dealt with before and sometimes the reports can be intimidating when first encountered. Home inspectors are almost always hired by the prospective purchaser of a home and his/her job is to give a true and accurate snapshot of the current condition of the property and to point out any existing or potential problems he/she sees with the home.


Once the purchaser has the report they decide which repairs are important to them and with the help of their realtor put together an addendum that lists the repairs they want the seller to complete.


 

What is confusing for sellers is that some of the items on the report can be problems they never knew existed. Every home, and especially older homes have hundreds of opportunities for problems when you start to add up the number of plumbing connections, electrical connections and areas where the elements, wildlife and insects are attempting to gain access.


 

The key to deciphering a inspection report, estimating costs and organizing a plan of attack is to have a good licensed contractor that is familiar with real estate repairs and building codes associated with a home.


 

Once the addendum is received by the seller the number of requested repairs can be broken down into simpler tasks and sometimes even eliminated after an evaluation onsite. After that process the cost estimates and actual repairs that need to be made may end up being less intimidating then first thought.


Senior Care Real Estate Needs – Joe B. Nester serves the Real Estate Needs of our Senior Clients. Joe is currently a licensed Realtor and the Director of Internet Marketing for Agapé Senior. Visit link and ask Joe any question about Real Estate and Senior Care. Or call (803) 730-7269.

 


 

Selling Older Homes for Senior Clients

Posted by Joe B. Nester on February 26, 2015 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

 

The Invisible Calculator in the Mind of the Buyer

 

 

Have you ever lived in a location for a long time and all of a sudden noticed a house or something else you had never seen before? I believe small deferred maintenance items in homes are similar to that experience. If a person has lived in a home for a long period of time the little tear in the vinyl, the cracked floor tile in the bathroom or the broken window pane on the porch become invisible.




 

The challenge for senior client's that have lived a lifetime in their home and are now ready to sell at fair market value, is to be able to look critically at the home through the eyes of a buyer.


 

Buyer clients whether consciously or unconsciously have a calculator program running in their minds when they tour a home. And depending on their skill level and life busyness schedule will be adding up what they will need to change, repair or replace in the home to make it their own. A well maintained home will fare better in this rough assessment even if the home is outdated.


 

Removal of dated wallpaper, replacement of old appliances and upgrades to cabinets and fixtures all start to add up. If there are obvious deferred repair issues it adds a level of uncertainty to the money equation because of the mystery and unknown causes that surround repair issues and the difficulties of calculating those repairs by a layperson.


 

There are a lot of advantages to owning an older home, they are usually better constructed than a modern home, are often found in prime locations and have yards filled with mature shade trees and plantings and are not on-top of neighbors. The key to selling these homes is to emphasize these positive attributes while minimizing the negative.


 

Taking care of those irritating repairs that have been invisible for so long will help focus the buyer on what is important and give them a clearer view of what they will need to do to adapt the space to fit their lifestyle.


Senior Care Real Estate Needs – Joe B. Nester serves the Real Estate Needs of our Senior Clients. Joe is currently a licensed Realtor and the Director of Internet Marketing for Agapé Senior. Visit link and ask Joe any question about Real Estate and Senior Care. Or call (803) 730-7269.

 


Creating Freedom with Less Stuff

Posted by Joe B. Nester on February 18, 2015 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

One of the most daunting tasks of life in my opinion is moving. Of course not all moves are created equal. A move within the same town where a family is expanding and in need of a larger home is less stressful than a move across country for a promotion or new job. In the latter, uncertainty about the new location can add additional layers of stress. In the case of a senior adult moving it is usually to downsize, move closer to their children and grandchildren or move into an independent / assisted living community. Life changes like these are almost always difficult.



One thing all moves have in common is the task of taking ones possessions from the existing home to the next home. When I was in the military I saw families that relocated on a regular basis and had developed systems and organizational schemes for their belongings to ease each transition. But for most people the activity of moving is not a regular event and the task can be overwhelming to even highly organized individuals.


 

I believe the difficulty of a move is directly proportional to the number of years a person or family has been in their current home. As consumers we subtly add items to our homes and the accumulation process is not noticeable when it is happening. But when it is time to move all those items begin to look challenging. One obvious strategy is to take less stuff when you move. That is a logical idea but one that is harder than it sounds because it involves making decisions about each item you plan to leave behind.


 

For senior clients I often recommend an estate sale at their existing home. The biggest advantage with an estate sale is having a third party person alleviate the decision making process by removing emotion from items and pricing them properly to sell. Making decisions about what to keep and what to leave is hard and it is especially hard for seniors. People do not realize the burden and worry that is attached to their possessions and I have had senior clients tell me how they have felt a new sense of freedom after going through the process of downsizing what they own.


Senior Care Real Estate Needs – Joe B. Nester serves the Real Estate Needs of our Senior Clients. Joe is currently a licensed Realtor and the Director of Internet Marketing for Agapé Senior. Visit link and ask Joe any question about Real Estate and Senior Care. Or call (803) 730-7269.

 


 

A Reverse Mortgage Could be Wrong Direction

Posted by Joe B. Nester on February 10, 2015 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)


A reverse mortgage on the surface can look like an ideal product when seniors are on fixed incomes and faced with increasing healthcare costs along with other living expenses. The idea of a bank writing a check each month from the equity in their home and not having to repay the loan as long as they remain in the home is a tempting option.



There have been mixed reviews over the years about the usefulness of reverse mortgages and there are important factors that when considered could make going in reverse, the wrong direction.


 

Reverse mortgages have some inherent downsides in the form of higher up front finance fees and higher than normal interest rates. The loan is not a traditional home equity loan decided with credit scores or income so there are additional risks to the lender. The lender mitigates some of that risk by charging the higher fees and interest.


 

The original idea to help seniors remain in their homes with a reverse mortgage has a large flaw. There is an assumption that this will allow the senior to remain in the home until their death. The problem with that assumption is that it often becomes completely unsafe for a senior to live in their home long before death especially with the epidemic of dementia in today's society.


 

With a reverse mortgage the pay-back of the loan is triggered if the senior has not occupied the home for one year. If the senior is now residing in an assisted living or skilled facility the additional cost of loan payments for a house that is unoccupied comes at a time when they can least afford it.

 

 

In addition to the payback of the loan, the taxes, insurance and maintenance for the home never stop. These expenses create an additional financial burden for the owner as well as other complications associated with an unoccupied home.


Senior Care Real Estate Needs – Joe B. Nester serves the Real Estate Needs of our Senior Clients. Joe is currently a licensed Realtor and the Director of Internet Marketing for Agapé Senior. Visit link and ask Joe any question about Real Estate and Senior Care. Or call (803) 730-7269.


 


Conveying the Story Within

Posted by Joe B. Nester on January 30, 2015 at 5:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Taking time to talk with senior clients about their homes and discovering the stories within may actually help sell the home. Finding out what they loved about their home and including it in descriptions or photographs could help buyers connect with the home and discover nuances that are not readily apparent during a showing or in a particular season when the home is on the market.



Purchasing a home and selling a home are both emotional decisions. When a buyer finds the right home they feel a connection to the space and can imagine living there. Some homes have a comfortable feel the minute you cross the threshold and that feeling can trigger a connection.


 

I met recently with an elderly woman that was considering selling her home and even though the house was jam-packed with collections and what most people would consider clutter it had a natural welcoming feel upon entering. After talking with her about the home and hearing some of her stories and favorite memories it was easy to imagine a new family filling the space with the busy sounds of living.


 

One way that a favorite room, garden or amenity can be conveyed to the buyer is through a great picture. In the example below it happened by accident but the end result was that the photograph told a story and ultimately sold the house.


 

A couple of years ago a realtor told me how during a listing appointment the sellers talked about how they loved to sit on their porch overlooking a backyard garden. When she listed the home she happened to take a picture from the garden with the blooming flowers in the foreground and the porch in the background.

 

 

A few months after selling the home the realtor ran into the new owner and was told that the picture of the garden was what kept her coming back to the listing during her home search. The woman explained how she was able to clearly envision herself sitting on the porch in the photo enjoying the view of the garden.


Senior Care Real Estate Needs – Joe B. Nester serves the Real Estate Needs of our Senior Clients. Joe is currently a licensed Realtor and the Director of Internet Marketing for Agapé Senior. Visit link and ask Joe any question about Real Estate and Senior Care. Or call (803) 730-7269.


 

Navigating a Shrinking World

Posted by Joe B. Nester on January 22, 2015 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

When a child begins to crawl his/her world expands. The child will explore a room, cross a threshold, take a look back, and then boldly move on to explore the rest of the house. When a child learns to walk their world expands further with field trips to parks and stores. Tricycles, bikes and public transportation continue the expansion in pre-teen and teen years and finally as a young adult the whole world is a possibility.



This same cycle is reversed as a person transitions into the later years of their life. Driving at night becomes difficult so it is limited to day-time. Driving on busy roads becomes frightening so it is limited to back roads. Walking up stairs becomes dangerous so living space is limited to one level. Incrementally a seniors world shrinks as it becomes harder to navigate.


 

Having a plan for when your world begins to shrink is a step that should not be ignored. Taking a critical view of your current home is a good place to start the process. You will want to consider some of the following questions when evaluating your home.


 

• How far the home is from essential services

• Is there alternative transportation available

• How much yearly maintenance does the home require

• How big is the yard and what is required for upkeep

• Do you have family or friends that live nearby

• Could you live on one level if needed

• Is the home located in a safe neighborhood


 

Living independently and being self reliant are goals most seniors have in common. Taking an honest look at your current home and doing some pre-planning while considering the reality of the aging process could help you make decisions today that will preserve your independence tomorrow.


Senior Care Real Estate Needs – Joe B. Nester serves the Real Estate Needs of our Senior Clients. Joe is currently a licensed Realtor and the Director of Internet Marketing for Agapé Senior. Visit link and ask Joe any question about Real Estate and Senior Care. Or call (803) 730-7269.

 


 

Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff

Posted by Joe B. Nester on January 14, 2015 at 10:50 PM Comments comments (0)

We are all surrounded by memories of our past. Objects collected over the years store memories and remind us of the stories that were taking place when the item was obtained. After 40 or 50 years these items can take up a significant amount of space and may even have been put into boxes or storage to make room for new items with new memories.


You will need some creative ideas to deal with all you have collected when it is time to downsize your space. One great solution I read about recently is to hold a reverse birthday party where you write a short story about how each item came into your possession. Attach the notes to the objects and have friends and family put their name on the things they like. The object is transferred to a new owner that will care for it and the story will be maintained.


 

Pictures are also a great way to downsize a memory. It is already a stressful experience moving into a new place so having the things around you that made your old space comfortable is natural. Taking pictures of special things you love and incorporating them into the new space will help ease the transition.


 

If you are somewhat tech savvy or you may have children or grandchildren that can take advantage of creative digital solutions for converting your stuff. One simple project that can free up space is to convert a large music collection of CD's or Vinyl into either your computer, external hard drive or even to the cloud.


 

The important thing is the memory. Transferring the real item into another format frees up space and allows a person to continue enjoying the memory. That is the desired result.


Senior Care Real Estate Needs – Joe B. Nester serves the Real Estate Needs of our Senior Clients. Joe is currently a licensed Realtor and the Director of Internet Marketing for Agapé Senior. Visit link and ask Joe any question about Real Estate and Senior Care. Or call (803) 730-7269.

 


 


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