6 Guidelines for Making Difficult Decisions about an Older Loved One’s Care
By Chris Cruse 9 am on
Indecision is a common challenge family caregivers encounter. When it comes to your senior loved one’s wellbeing, you might feel like every decision weighs heavily on your mind. At some point, most caregivers must eventually make difficult decisions about their loved ones’ finances, places of residence, and health care. Using these strategies can reduce some of the mental strain you experience when making critical care decisions.
1. Avoid Making Decisions while Stressed
Being a caregiver often means you’re running through your routine while you’re sleep-deprived or unable to take care of your personal needs. Being under stress makes decision-making even more difficult. Try to find time in your day to relieve some of your stress by meditating and practicing other forms of self-care. Once you’re relaxed, you’ll find it easier to think through your options.
2. Make a List of Your Current Concerns
Caregivers are sometimes asked to make broad decisions, and it helps to determine where the question being asked fits into your priorities. For example, you might be trying to figure out if your loved one needs to move to a higher level of care. Writing down your concerns could reveal that you prefer for your parent to avoid a group living environment due to worries about his or her health. This could help you decide to look for other options that meet all of your goals, such as planning for home care.Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leadingin-home careagency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
3. Keep Current Medical Recommendations in Mind
Going with medical advice is another tactic that can make difficult decisions easier. Your loved one’s doctor has insight into your loved one’s health that could influence what you decide to do. For example, you might find out your loved one’s last visit revealed he or she was malnourished, which could drive your decision to arrange for professional care.
4. Find Out What Other Caregivers Have Done in the Past
Families have been caring for ill and senior family members for many years. You might feel alone right now, but you’re not the only person who has ever faced this situation. If you know a family caregiver, reach out to him or her. If not, asking a professional caregiver how he or she handles certain situations could help you identify new solutions to help you make decisions.A professional caregiver can be a fantastic source of information and encouragement for both you and your loved one. In Des Moines, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.
5. Pull Together Sources for Support
In addition to doctors and other senior care professionals, you might have other people in your life who are willing to help you make decisions. Your siblings might have a few recommendations based on their observations, or your life partner might have some insight to share. Opening up the question to others elicits support when you need it the most.
6. Choose the Simplest Option First
When a choice looms large in your mind, it’s possible to make it more complicated than necessary by worrying too much about it. Try breaking the decision down into smaller choices that seem more manageable. Arranging for someone to help your loved one with his or her personal needs is a temporary solution that could be permanent if the situation warrants it. However, you’ll feel less stressed about hiring a caregiver versus trying to plan a major move to a different place for your loved one during a health crisis.One of the most important decisions you can make is whether and when to hire a caregiver for your loved one. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional home care service, Des Moines Home Care Assistance should be your top choice. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults manage their health and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years. If you need professional care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (515) 264-2438.