The words “assisted living” are frightening to most of us. Having a spouse or child put us in a nursing home or assisted-living facility is just an awful thought.
Case in point. When my father was in his mid-80’s, he lived alone. He stepped out his back door one wintery day and slipped and fell on the ice. He broke or cracked a vertebrae in his back. He went to the hospital for a few days, and then the doctors placed him in a rehabilitation nursing home to recover. So far, so good.
However, I was worried about my dad returning to live alone at his home, so I started explaining that he would need to live in an assisted living “home”. I explained that someone would fix his meals. He’d have plenty of people to talk to. If he happened to fall, or if he had any other kind of medical emergency, there’d be someone there to help him.
He said, “I won’t go. I’m not going to live in one of those places. I had forgot that he had visited his mother-in-law in a nursing home every day for 5 years (1,825 visits), so he had a “point of view” about living outside of his own home. I persisted, and so did he. And he won this battle of wills because, just a week or so later he died in his sleep.
What I did not know was that a person can stay in his home and receive assistance there. An at-home caregiver can provide companionship, fix meals, keep the home clean, and be there in case you need help. Best of all, you’re still in Your Home. Familiar sights, smells and surroundings. Your caregiver fixes the mealsthat You want – not the meal of the day that is mass produced for all the residents in the facility. Your caregiver gets to know you and know what you like and don’t like. At a facility, you may have 3, 4 or 5 different people attend to you throughout the day, and they may not be the same ones you had yesterday. It is almost impossible for you to have the quality of care that you receive from an at-home caregiver who has been matched to share your interests, energy level, life experiences and education and much more.
For one of the better at-home care companies, check out www.homecareassistance.com on the Internet. Request a free copy of their book: Happy to 102. And give them a call and see if at-home care might be the best option for your aging parent, or even you.