Moving someone you love to a long-term care facility can be one of the most difficult decisions you can make. Some people feel guilt that they have not done enough for their loved one or they are sentencing them to death. The truth is you may be providing them with better care, more socialization and rest for the caregiver at home but deciding when is the ‘right time’ is difficult. Ask yourself these questions:
- Does my loved one need professional nursing care that is too difficult to provide at home?
- What is the person’s prognosis? Is their health or mentation expected to decline?
- Is the caregiver physically or emotionally becoming unable to be the primary caregiver?
- Is the person getting enough stimulation at home or only watching television for hours?
- Does the person have dementia and is engaging in risky behaviors such as leaving a stove on or wandering?
- Are family relations being hurt because of conflicts between those who do most of the care and other relatives?
Only you can answer these questions. You may want to look at companies that provide these services in your home to help bare the burden which may put off long-term care placement. However, if long-term care is even I possibility, I suggest you tour facilities near you in advance. If everything goes awry one day you do not want to begin the process of finding a placement which can take weeks or months. Many long-term care facilities today are really quite lovely and not where your grandparents live.
Ask yourself some honest questions about your current caregiving situation. Regardless of the answer, plan for the future so you are not reacting in desperation to a tricky situation.