Is keeping Mom at home the right choice?

homesweethomeI know how often I second-guessed the choice of where my Mom lived. My siblings and I often discussed how we could better use the money being spent on their care community that never seemed to be the right fit for them once their dementia really changed their thinking and behavior.

Now that I work with families who are usually not in the metro-DC area and want someone to help their loved one who is still living in their home, I wonder when is it the right time to consider moving them into a community.

In general, the earlier the move for someone with cognitive issues, the better. They can make friends, find activities they enjoy, and benefit from the social activities that can keep the cognitive decline at bay by staying engaged.

However, I understanding viewing the move from their beloved home as a major issue that most older adults decline and often fight against.

I battled with myself the last year of Mom’s life. Should we move her into our home, even though she made it clear over decades that she never wanted to live with one of her children? I knew it would be a major ask of my family to move her into our home. She would have needed someone at the home to help her when we were working. I realized later that she also would not have had the benefit of all of the activities for engagement within the community. I wish I could have played out both options and reported back to you.

Every family needs to make the best choice for your circumstances. Please know that the fact that you are involved and engaged is more than most adults with dementia receive. Many families detach, others fight over the choices, and for dozens of other reasons, their loved ones don’t have the benefits of an advocate who is watching out for them. Weigh your options but be satisfied that you are making the best decision you can with the information you have right now. Considered. 

The Choice Between In Home Care vs Out of Home Care

ageormoveI recently attended a session hosted at my Mom’s Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). My parents made this choice more than 15 years ago, however, it’s not like you don’t wonder what it would have been like if they had opted to age-in-place.

“Aging-in-place” is a hot topic now, and in reality there are many “aging” options. In addition to a CCRC, there are local adult care options, many offered by local government and non-profits; in-home care and group home care. As a society, we seemed to have moved away from living with children, but I’m feeling a little guilt about that now. My Mom seems terribly lonely, but I know the move would be difficult on her cognitively.

Had my parent’s opted to “age in place”, we would most likely have had to take my parents to court to gain guardianship. Because they both moved into dementia together, they really didn’t recognize how much difficulty they were having managing on a day-to-day basisI’m thankful we never had to pursue this option. My parents would have recognized and been very hurt by this process.

This session I attended was focused on caring for a loved with dementia. The speaker shared that those that have a loved one in a CCRC feel guilt while those that care for a parent in their home are exhausted.

I know I’m lucky my parent’s made this choice and can afford it. The support of my parents over the past two years has been overwhelming at times. Now, it’s comforting to know that I’m not responsible for my mother’s care 24/7.

It has me wondering how my husband and I will manage this decision. Nothing is perfect, but given the wave of aging loved ones that is going to build in the coming years, I want to start having this conversation now. Discussed.

Please share with me what you are planning to do