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When to Get Help: Who Decides?

When to Get Help: Who Decides?

When it comes to deciding when to get professional help for a loved one, it is often the actual patient who is in denial about whether it is finally time to admit they need assistance. However, sometimes, other friends and family members can be reticent to see the situation in its reality too. Most people equate home health or assisted living conversations with physical ailments. If the person being discussed isn’t wheelchair-bound or bed-ridden, sometimes it is difficult to understand what other needs aren’t being met. If that loved one has dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other cognitive-based issues, then professional assistance is probably needed sooner rather than later.

While challenging, it is not impossible to get everyone involved on the same page about a loved one’s care. After all, you all have the same goal: to ensure that your loved one is cared for and content. Some people stay in denial as a way to avoid reality, while others use denial as a way to put off the inevitable. Another element that comes in to play is motivating factors. These factors can range from sibling rivalry, imbalance of caregiver responsibilities, and monetary issues.

The best approach is education. Prepare for the conversation by educating yourself first. Check out home care agencies if that is an option. Or tour senior care communities if that might serve your loved one best. Don’t overlook researching the specific condition or limitations of the loved one. It’s easy to assume everyone else has done the same research you have, but that is rarely the case. Once the time comes to have a conversation with everyone involved, it’s important to stay objective and not push a single agenda. Present all of the options and encourage open, candid dialogue. Respect for everyone’s opinions is a must, including the opinions of the aging family member.

If all of these conversations have reached a stalemate, you could try enlisting the help of a non-partisan third party, such as a family therapist, trusted physician, or legal/financial advisor. In extreme cases, or in cases where time is of the essence, a professional mediator might be your only option. No matter how you arrive at a solution, do your best to keep the goal in mind: achieving the best quality of life for the aging family member.

Do you have questions about determining the next step in senior care options? Feel free to contact us for advice. We’re happy to answer any questions you or your loved ones might have.

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