The Trouble with Choices

 

We enjoy meeting with new families so very much; we love hearing stories about what makes that particular family special, what their mom or dad has done over the span of their lives, and why that person is so special to them.  

We also listen to stories about the hard times a family has gone through, the struggles a family faces when providing assistance, then help, and then care for their loved ones.  Every family that walks through our door usually talks about the commitment they made to their mom or dad, usually on the fly, that they would never, "put mom in a home". Many families struggle with even calling us that first time because they promised something different. The moment that families promise they will never put mom or dad "in a home" and the moment when they pick up the phone to call us for the first time are very difficult moments and the path from the "promise" to "the call" is a long and windy one.

At first mom is at home and someone notices that she is a little more unstable on her feet, a family member offers to hire a housekeeper to help with the chores, a few months or years later, a family member notices there is a need for more handrails in the house.  Perhaps a daughter starts to take mom to her doctor's appointments because the information coming back doesn't make as much sense as it once did.  Then the daughter starts to pick up the prescriptions at the pharmacy, a neighbor starts to bring over food, and on and on and on.  

These little steps happen over a series of years - not overnight.  There is a point in every families' decision making process where they come to the realization that the risk of what is happening to mom at home is greater than the risk of moving her into a community.  So getting "put into a home" is not the choice or the promise, it's the culmination of years of small decisions that lead up to a list. The list usually consists of medication management, assistance with preparing meals and a need for more social interaction, versus the risk of making the wrong choice and disappointing mom, dad, family, and friends.  

Ninety-five percent of the time we hear, "we wish we had done this sooner; mom is so happy and we are too because we've got our mom back".  We see the successful lives people have with us, we know this is a good option, and we know home is always the best, but there are times when it is not the most practical.  

We know this is a challenge - We're here to help!