What should you do if you promised your spouse or parent many years ago that you would never place them in a nursing home or an assisted living community, but you’re finding it increasingly difficult to keep that promise?
It can be almost impossible to come to terms with sending a spouse or parent suffering from severe dementia and/or Alzheimer’s to a care facility when you promised them that you would take care of them at home. Unfortunately, things may not be working out as envisioned. The loved one’s health is getting worse and you, the caretaker, are getting increasingly exhausted, unhinged, unwell, and confused with each passing day.
Deciding to send your loved one to a care facility can be one of the toughest decisions to make, a decision that can be even harder to make if finances are already strained. In the end, the best thing for everyone, you and your loved one, is to enroll them in a senior living community like Landmark Senior Living which provides them with an affordable and compassionate solution of comprehensive hospitality and personal care service.
3 Reasons to Be More Flexible
There are three things you have to keep in mind when wrestling with the decision to continue to keep them at home and not send them to a care facility:
First, you may be too beleaguered and enervated to continue to take care of them without developing serious health issues yourself. You may also not be able to earn a living because you can’t afford to leave them home alone and you don’t know anyone who can help.
Second, you can’t offer your loved one the quality of care that they need because you don’t have the physical strength, the medical know-how, the special equipment, the medication, or the financial resources to properly take care of them.
Third, you made the promise to keep them at home with the intention that you would be acting in their best interest. However, this is a promise that you can’t realistically keep because you don’t have enough personal or material resources to continue to be a caretaker.
By keeping your promise to keep them at home no matter how bad things get does not serve your loved one or you. In fact, a bad situation is only going to get worse. While you may not be fulfilling your spoken promise, you are in effect fulfilling the spirit of that promise when you send them to a care facility. After all, the spirit of the promise was to take care of them in the best way.
4 Problems with Denial
The reason you may want to keep someone at home when there are clear signs that they need more help than you can provide is denial. You are denying that they are getting worse and you are denying your own vulnerability to overwhelm.
Here are 4 problems with denial:
- Improper administration of medication. It’s possible that the elderly person or their caregiver loses track of dosages and either gives them too little or too much. In addition, they aren’t aware that the medication is not working and needs to be changed.
- Accidents are more likely to happen. The elderly person may have an accident or the caregiver may have one due to stress and fatigue.
- Family conflicts are bound to arouse because of frayed nerves, misunderstandings, and too many burdens. Quality time is no longer possible because of the the caregiver’s stress and burnout.
- Lack of professional help. The caregiver may not even notice that the elderly person is getting worse because they don’t have the medical background to notice a change in symptoms.
The Purpose of Senior Living Centers
Assisted Living Centers exist for a very good reason. It’s often the best place to be for someone who needs plenty of support that a working family can no longer provide. Someone who has Alzheimer’s or dementia usually gets progressively worse, and they need a safe place where caregivers are available 24 hours a day. They also need to be encouraged to continue to be active to slow the rate of mental and physical deterioration. There comes a point when one person or loving family cannot provide all the necessary help, no matter how good their intentions.