One of the most striking realizations for me lately is how many of us are out there helping an aging loved one. In November 2012, the Alzheimer’s Association reported that 43.5 million care for someone 50+ years of age and 14.9 million care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.
Our system doesn’t work. I know my story is unusual because I had two parents with similar stages of dementia, but I just had to learn faster. Our problems were magnified. My parents either couldn’t recognize or wouldn’t admit their lives needed to change. It meant less freedom and they were unwilling to accept any assistance.The dementia crept in and eventually, they were unable to comprehend the situation.
My parent’s fully believed that selecting a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) would mean they would “never be a burden to their children.” You can wade through over 300 stories I have shared in the past two years on how difficult this journey has been. I imagine most children have a love/hate relationship with the place their parents are staying.
My parent’s were happy with their choice, and the day they were moved into Assisted Living removed a huge weight from my shoulders. I’m very appreciative of the way my parents CCRC handled the situation.
However, I’m not satisfied that we have found the right options. I spend 20 – 30 hours supporting and visiting my Mom many weeks of the year. I know that isn’t what they intended, but I’m duty-bound to provide.
How can we change this dynamic so we don’t keep making the same mistakes? Queried.
Please share in the comments section how you are approaching or have decided what to do for your most senior years.