When we bring families together to talk about next steps in the senior living process for a loved one, it is often the first time the family has all been in the same room, at the same time, having what can be a very difficult conversation. At times, dysfunctional family dynamics can become apparent, and a lifetime of emotions can surface. Other times, something wonderful happens and children come together to support a parent in a way that can make even experienced senior advisors cry.
When a family recently contacted their local CarePatrol office, they knew that Dad could no longer live at home, and that the family, although willing, was not equipped to provide the necessary care. When I asked Dad about how he felt about moving out of his home and how he was navigating the activities of daily living, he told me he felt like his brain was falling apart. Alzheimer’s can be terrifying for everyone involved. Families watch their loved ones waste away and patients dread what they may become.
Currently there is no way to stop the progression of Alzheimer’s. The disease affects not only the patient but also the family that has come together to support them. As the ability to think, reason, recall and navigate daily life deteriorates and becomes more apparent to outsiders, the family starts to feel the affects of the disease. How do you respond when Dad does not recognize you? Do you tell them that the friend they are looking for died many years ago? How should you feel when Mom is confused and can’t find her way home?
It is very noble to want to take care of a parent. Parents take care of us for the first 20 years of our lives, and we should be prepared to take care of them for the last 20 year of theirs. However, there does come a time when it is best to allow professionals to take care of them. CarePatrol is here to help guide seniors and their families to safe living options such as assisted living and memory care communities and in-home care professionals that are dedicated to providing the care that they will need and the support that families crave.
If you need free advice on how to care for a loved one with dementia, please call your local advisor. CarePatrol is here to help!