Understanding Choices of Care Options
"One size does not fit all! Just because your friend's parents are happy at a Living Care Center, your may not be.
Understanding options for when the status quo changes."
One size does not fit all. Resort style resort living may sound like a great idea, but its not always the ideal living environment especially if does not align with your loved ones lifestyle. Perhaps a small-house model is a better fit for them - sense of home, connectedness, and ultimately, happiness. Maybe they get all of this just remaining in their current home or living with you. Perhaps going through the process of elimination yields the best living option.
The key to going through this process is understanding the types of Resident Care living options available. You should not have to go through this process as lost and alone as we were. Try one of the solutions offered here, work with their primary care provider or contact an eldercare professional.
Let's explore some options!
My father-in-law thrives living in a Care Community. He is a social butterfly and enjoys the comradery. He does what he wants but likes having the opportunity to participate in activities and entertainment. Where ever there is gathering, my father-in-law is usually at the center of it.
We thought since my father-in-law was happy at a Care Community, our Dad would be also. My sister and visited several top rated communities and came to realize that our Dad would not have been happy living like this. Our Dad thrived on hearing the voices of his grandchildren when they came home from school each day, the smells of my sisters home cooked meals and the views off the front porch. Comradery for him came from my sister's two dogs - Leo and Oskar, the birds and critters in my sister's yard.
Constant Assessment of the Status Quo
For now, the living situation for your loved one works. But is it always going to work? Do we feel that it is working because everyone may be in a mild state of denial? Is it working because there are misconceptions about alternative options? Making a decision from within a bubble is difficult and ineffective. That is why we strongly suggest visiting the different care facilities in your area so you are aware of the available options for when there is a change to the status quo. This may also let you know that this may not be an options for your loved one at all.
It is important when accepting the responsibility as a Caregiver to be open to and diligent about having information available to help in the process of reassessing the status quo. This chart from InsideElderCare.com may help in this process. It shows the different types of care facilities available and how some of those costs may be covered by third party sources such as Medicaid or long-term care insurance.
One of the ways to validate or measure the conditions of the status quo is by visiting some of the different care facilities in your area. In doing so, ask yourself - "Is the level of care offered here; the same, better or less than what my loved one is currently receiving? Your answer may give you some earned positive reinforcement. "The care that I am able to provide my Mom/Dad is better than what they could receive living here." It might be the catalyst needed to make this move sooner rather than later.
Maybe the decision is for your loved one to transition into a Residential Care Facility sooner rather than later, but does it mean that the duties as their Caregiver and Care Manager go way? Most of us get a sense relief thinking about moving our parents into a Living Care Facilities someday. Advertising agencies do a great job of creating the picture perfect place for Mom, but is it?
It all seems like a great idea! For us it means that our responsibilities as their Caregiver goes away. It means that they'll be off - activities, more social opportunities, better care. They have funding or medicaid pays for it so let's make the move.
Tours, advertisements, Open Houses do not reveal everything. There are families who have moved their loved one into a Care Facility and then have moved them back home again because it just was not meeting their expectations. Some families are finding that they have to hire outside Home Care Agencies to supplement the services at the Care Facility. Some families are finding that their loved one is not thriving in this type of living environment.
This is not meant to degrade living care facilities in anyway. The point is about the importance of being better prepared and aware of the challenges in even a picture perfect situation.
We are never truly 100% confident about the decisions we are making as a Caregiver. The goal is to do as much research as reasonably possible to be comfortable about them. Learn to accept that no decision or solution is going to be perfect. Rely on the advice offered by professionals when possible who will help you work towards making the best decisions for your loved one.