So You've Made the Choice
It’s not an easy decision to make, opting to admit your loved one into a care home. Choosing assisted living for your senior family member is in everyone’s best interests and ensures the elderly’s needs are met. But it doesn’t come easily, and stirs up a lot of anguish and internal conflict. There’s the feeling of failure or a lack of will to do what it takes to care for one’s parents, as well as the realization that it’s the responsible thing to do to ensure their safety and wellness. These mixed feelings are natural and one can experience both at the same time. So here are ways to deal with the emotions that arise during and after that difficult period:
Your responsibility is to provide the right kind of care – even when it’s not what they want Families and caregivers can argue as to what constitutes the right kind of care. And the elderly’s wishes might be different, or remain unchanging despite the circumstances. While families try their best to honor their elder’s requests, they can’t sidestep reality. They have to consider their own needs, as well as their capabilities to provide proper care and services. If, over time, this becomes too difficult or untenable and it is apparent that a nursing home can meet these needs, then the family must consider that option. Ideally, this should be thought over before there’s an emergency, so that the plan can be implemented in a thorough way, not rushed or haphazard.
You shouldn’t make promises that can’t be kept Too many carers say they’ll never consider assisted living homes for their parents or loved ones. This seems touching and shows how dedicated they are, but it might be unrealistic and counterproductive. It sets certain expectations that eventually can’t be met. The senior might have a sudden turn for the worse, such as a hip fracture or a cardiovascular emergency, and the family might be unprepared for this. The doctor or hospital staff might insist that the parent can’t stay home and needs to be admitted in a nursing home facility. What then?
This is why caregiving families should be open to all possibilities and plan accordingly. Potentials include the need for 24-hour supervision, home health aides, or admission to a care home if hiring aides proves too costly.
By acknowledging these potentials, families can be better prepared for them. They can take time to scout out local nursing homes or assisted living facilities, consider options and their preferences. Ideally doing so before an emergency pushes them to make rushed decisions.
Caregiving still continues after admission Your journey as a carer goes on as you visit, and as your loved one adapts to the new setup. You’ll be there with them, see how they are faring, offer support, talk with the staff, and so on. This involvement is crucial and is another part of caring and ensuring they live well, healthily and safely.
Feeling and processing a deluge of emotions You’ll experience strong and uncomfortable feelings, mixed thoughts and emotions that often conflict with each other. But this is normal and part of the process. So be with your loved one and stay involved in their care. Keep connected with the rest of the family, and remember to prioritize your own health and wellness. These will help as you adapt and come to terms with the changes.