By Judy Given, Senior Director, Campus Development
In my role at Abe’s Garden Community, I counsel families looking for support in caring for their family members living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. As they describe their situation, families frequently say they want to keep their loved one living at home as long as possible. This sentiment reflects many factors weighing heavily on the family caregiver:
- A sense that moving them out is a personal failure and they are giving up on their loved one
- A belief that they should be able to manage the disease themselves
- A desire to honor their loved one’s wishes to never “put me in a nursing home”
- Concerns about saving their financial resources
- And finally, “We’re not at that point”
This is not a complete list of what I hear, but it certainly touches on the most common shared thoughts. And while all of these are valid, there are times when these reasons are not the only points to consider when determining if the time is right for a move. In fact, they can lead a family to wait too long or miss out on opportunities for an enhanced quality of life for both the caregiver and their loved one. There is no universal “right time to move” and each family must weigh the pros and cons of their situation.
I have been offering planning sessions to those on our waitlist. In these meetings, I ask questions to help families more deeply explore their beliefs and wishes for their loved ones, families, and themselves. We identify where their thresholds are in various domains when considering staying home versus moving into the community. The hope is that these discussions can support them to make the best decisions when the time is right… and to make that decision with confidence.