A Difficult Decision

Written by Paulette Kaufman


The decision to place a loved one in an assisted living facility is a difficult but frequently unavoidable one. Even thoughrepparttar choice may be absolutely necessary,repparttar 149145 person forced to makerepparttar 149146 decision for their spouse or parent often feels an overwhelming sense of guilt.

Whenrepparttar 149147 time came for me to decide to place my mother, who suffers from Parkinsonís disease, into assisted living, I knew as a nurse that it wasrepparttar 149148 best decision for both my mother and me. Allrepparttar 149149 same, I felt an enormous amount of guilt, and when I came home after helping my mother move into her new community; I broke down, sobbing.

Today I work as a marketing counselor forrepparttar 149150 facility where my mother lives Ė so I see her every day and know firsthand that she receives excellent care Ė yet there are still times when I fail to hold backrepparttar 149151 tears.

Many caretakers who decide to put their loved one in an assisted living facility think they have failed them somehow, even if they have already spent years caring for them and simply cannot do so any more. I had been taking care of my mother for three years before bringing her to live in a long-term care community, helping her with daily tasks and spending every other night at her house. I even managed to make it a family effort, with my son easing much ofrepparttar 149152 burden during his summers home from college. My mother did not want to leave her home, and I did all I could to see that she would not have to leave.

But eventually that time came. In a fall my mother broke her foot, but she hidrepparttar 149153 injury from me. A fall like my motherís is especially worrisome because Parkinsonís is an incurable disease which progressively and inevitably gets worse. Patients are often able to minimizerepparttar 149154 ill effects ofrepparttar 149155 disease for a time, but eventually they will require frequent or constant assistance from a caregiver. My motherís fall was a sure sign that she could no longer live on her own. When her doctor discovered that her foot was broken, he told her this in no uncertain terms. Now it became my responsibility to help her find a new home, and though part of me wanted to take care of her just as she had taken care of me as a child, I knew that I did not haverepparttar 149156 capability to care for her as her Parkinsonís progressed.

In some respects my mother and I have been fortunate, in that she was aware of her doctorís instruction and conscious ofrepparttar 149157 reasons for entering an assisted living facility. Children and spouses of Alzheimerís patients, onrepparttar 149158 other hand, must bearrepparttar 149159 full weight of responsibility when choosingrepparttar 149160 option of assisted living, though many spend months or even years denying this fact. Usually, when it comes time to seek out an assisted living facility for an Alzheimerís patient, that patient has already reached an advanced stage ofrepparttar 149161 disease and likely exhibits a number of disturbing symptoms. Ifrepparttar 149162 caregiver has decided that it is time to consider assisted living,repparttar 149163 patient may already be in need of help with dressing, shaving, eating, and even usingrepparttar 149164 bathroom. Perhapsrepparttar 149165 patient has become delusional, convinced for instance thatrepparttar 149166 caregiver wishes to harm them. These are all common symptoms of Alzheimerís disease, and, like Parkinsonís, such symptoms will only get progressively worse. Recognizing that a patient whose Alzheimerís has reached such a stage and may need to enter an assisted living facility is positive. Unfortunately, I have met many people who think they can convince their parent or spouse of their need to enter an assisted living community, when in fact it is onlyrepparttar 149167 children or spouse of Alzheimerís patients who can ultimately makerepparttar 149168 decision.

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