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The Emotional Aspect of Planning Senior Living

By Life Bridge Subscribe to RSS | August 7th 2012 | Views:
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Considering placing your parent or grandparent in a nursing facility can not only be stressful but very emotional as well. Considering senior housing, especially options with higher levels of care, may cause a lot of anxiety. It can be difficult for seniors to think about losing their independence, future medical concerns, or the costs involved.

Throw family involvement and opinions of others in the mix and things can get complicated and very over whelming. Here are some potential emotional roadblocks, along with tips on how to overcome them:

From the senior’s point of view:

“There’s no point in thinking about this today. I’d rather

Live life in the moment and take things as they come.”

While it’s not healthy to obsess over the future, unfortunately most everyone will have to consider senior housing options at some point, either for you or for a loved one. It’s scary to think about losing independence, especially if you are used to being self-reliant. The more you plan ahead, though, the more control you have if an emergency strikes you, your spouse or loved one.

“I don’t want to get my family involved. I want to plan my own care”

or “I’m not worried. My family will step up when I need them.”

It’s not an easy conversation it can cause a lot of anxiety for both sides. It is easy to bury our heads in the sand and try not deal with the upcoming situation or putting it off. But it’s important to both communicate with family members your wishes and plans, and listen to their concerns. For example, long distance family members might think that it is better you move close by or move in with them so that they can better coordinate your care. However, you might not want to uproot yourself from your community, friends, and current medical care. On the other hand, just because you have family close by does not automatically mean they will be able to help with all your needs. They may also be balancing work, their own children, or other commitments. Clear communication from the outset can help avoid misunderstandings or unrealistic assumptions.

From the family’s point of view:

“My loved one is having a harder and harder time keeping up.

I’m worried about safety, but he/she won’t listen to me.”

It’s painful to see a loved one struggling. Maybe clothes are not as clean as they used to be, the refrigerator is looking sparse, or the house is getting increasingly messy. Or things may have progressed to frequent falls, or memory lapses such as leaving the stove on. While you can’t force a loved one to accept help or move home, unless they are a danger to themselves or others, you can provide them with information and reassurance. Don’t take it on alone. Talk with your loved one’s medical team. Brainstorm with other family and friends. Sometimes a senior will listen more to a doctor, care manager, or other impartial party.

“My loved one wants me to provide all of the help for them.

I’m worried I won’t be able to keep up, and I feel guilty.”

Care giving may start with small assistance, and rapidly grow to an all-encompassing task. You may quickly find it difficult to try to juggle the needs of your loved one, your own family, your health and keeping your job with the increasing demands. There are only 24 hours in a day, and you need to be able to balance your own health, family, and finances. Getting help is not a sign of weakness. It means you care enough about your loved one’s health and safety to realize when the responsibility is too great. Educate yourself about the resources that can help your loved one, and see if other family members can help.

The most important things you can do when preparing for this stage in your love one’s life is to educate yourself and know all of your options and secondly communicate so everyone is on the same page of your loved ones wishes and desires. This can be a stressful stage in life or a smooth transition into a new chapter of life.

Life Bridge - About Author:
LifeBridge Benefits offers seniors a distinct, creative opportunity, Long-term care facilities include long term care benefits, death benefits, life settlement, nursing homes, policy exchange, conversion policy and insurance conversion.

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