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When aging at home is not working

Living at home suggests a certain amount of autonomy and independence. As loved ones age, they are often reluctant to leave home because where they live is an integral part of who they are.

As your family gets older, their care often becomes more complex. For some, it is possible to live at home until they pass away. However, others need more advanced care than they can receive at home.

Here’s what you should consider when it’s time to talk to your loved ones about their plans for advanced care.

Assessing the level of care

Your loved one’s medical team might do an incredible job of teaching you how to care for your friend or family member in their home. You may understand the procedures, but ultimately you may feel uncomfortable performing them.

As you consider changes to your loved one’s care, also think about your own comfort level. It is entirely normal to be nervous the first few times you do something new, but you should not feel as though the level of care your loved one needs is above your skill set.

Knowing your own boundaries

While you might be capable of taking care of your loved one, it is not always the best solution for either of you to do so. Perhaps you understand the care your loved one needs and you may be able to provide it. Then again, it could have a negative impact on your relationship.

Often, when friends and family become caregivers, they do not get to enjoy the time they have together. Instead of having time to talk or enjoy activities, the caregiver often spends much of their time coordinating care and what they need to do next.

Moving your loved one to an assisted living facility is not the only alternative. You can also consider bringing in respite care staff or part-time caregivers to give you time to enjoy being with your loved one and the free time you need to take care of matters in your own life.

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