The Emotional Side to Elder Care Solutions
It’s not just about finding the right long term care facility for the elderly. It’s about a transition in life. It’s about admitting that you or someone you love is getting older. It’s about mortality.
Elder care solutions involve more than just the practical elements of finding the right environment with the right level of care. What are some of the emotional struggles that you can expect and some of the strategies you can use to make the process easier when evaluating various elder care solutions?
First, recognize you need help as a caregiver, or that the elderly person needs help if they are living in their own home. Often out of a sense of duty, sense of pride, sense of guilt, or various other feelings, we put off making a transition into a different and safer environment even though it offers better solutions for the person you love.
Next, understand some of the myths attached to aging and some of the elder care solutions. The options that were available when the aging person was young compared with today are very different; however, they may still have a bad association with anything to do with aging in general, hospitals, or nursing homes. By knowing why someone is reacting the way they are to a change in their environment will help you promote the right elder care solutions. And you can do it firmly and confidently but with compassion and understanding.
For example, some believe that all residents in a nursing home are senile and they envision old people wandering aimlessly down the halls. The thought can be frightening. However, the reality is that although about 52% of residents have some form of dementia, many are alert and have the ability to manage their affairs and have an active social life. Some enter a nursing home as a temporary care solution as they recover from a medical event such as a fall.
Another belief may be with hospice care. Most believe hospice means no hope of survival. True, elder care solutions that require hospice are for patients declared terminally ill by their doctor. The doctor has determined the patient has fewer than six months to live. However, doctors have been wrong and some former hospice patients have lived longer or recovered enough to be moved to a nursing home or an assisted living facility.
An aging parent may think that elder care solutions suggested by the kids are just a way to get rid of the parent. This is usually as far from factual as you can get! In fact, more often it’s the case that the child wants to be sure the parent is safe and lives in an environment that will provide the best level of care…one they know they cannot provide.
This is a delicate point. Most children want to provide the care, but they are not trained to do it and they are wise enough to admit it. They may have family or work obligations of their own that prevent them from providing the level of care required.
Any change in health can be emotional, especially when it’s the result of aging. Allow everyone to feel and experience the emotions when considering elder care solutions. That’s healthy. However, don’t allow negative emotions to consume you. This is just another stage in life. If you are fortunate to live into your 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond, then you may already know that the right attitude will make your health and any transition in life much better. And living a great quality of life is what elder care solutions is all about.