It’s not like choosing a college, a new house, or where to go on vacation. Choosing senior care is a much bigger decision, and one that carries tremendous weight, especially for the individual who will be moving or receiving services.
First, the decision as to what kind of care is best must be made: should my grandmother get care at home? should my Dad consider assisted living? does my wife need specialized Alzheimer’s care? Depending on how many people are involved in the decision (brothers, sisters, grandchildren, spouses, partners), this agreement may be more difficult to reach. Another complicating factor: the decision-making capacity of the person who needs care. (And, of course, how much will it cost and how will we pay for it.)
Given these dynamic pushes and pulls, the importance of taking time with this process is paramount, although the reality is that caregivers and families often find themselves in crisis situations, forced to make a decision in a limited time frame.
The good news is that most decisions can be undone if need be: if you choose assisted living and an evaluation of the community in the following weeks shows that it is not the best fit, you can transition your loved one back home, or to a better setting. Transition after transition is not easy or desirable, but if time is of the essence, you can certainly continue searching for options and plan Bs if your first action or decision feels rushed.
Above all, support your loved one through these changes, and remember, the impact of these transitions goes well beyond how it changes your life.
Read posts in our Making a Senior Care Decision category for more information and insights on this complicated process.