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How do you decide?
Louise_WebMD_Staff posted:
Yesterday as I prepped my mom for a weekend stay in a hotel near my younger sister's nursing home, I wondered how do you decide that your loved one needs more care than you can give. Is it a moment? An incident? Or do things add up?
mslrl responded:
I think it's a moment after a large build-up. In the end, we can't do it all. I'm learning this lesson myself right now, and it's not an easy one to say the least!
renalupie1 responded:
Things had been leading up to my mother being in a nursing home. But I kept managing. I don't know how many times her docs wanted me to put her in a facility. They even sent nurses to check out things at the house, just to be sure all was well. They found I could do it, and we did it for a long time!! I think every decision is case by case. I did have a cut off for myself, when she lost her leg. I knew that was it, there was no way I could manage to have her at home. If she had been more accepting to outside help, maybe. But seeing how she only wanted me to do stuff for her at home, then it was not feasible. I had started thinking about limitations, when exactly was going to be the right time to let professionals take over. Her amputation made that decision for me.

The guilt is overwhelming if you have a parent who is very dependant and only wants you. She has been gone over a year and I still get twinges of guilt. I remind myself that she was overbearing and it honestly was sad the way she was selfish in that manner.

I think you will know deep in your heart when the right time is.

GAP1954 responded:
A couple of years ago I penned a handout "When Home Won't Work" that addresses this topic a bit. Making the choice to move Mom to a facility is an example of how Caregiving often requires us to make choices that are wrong - for somebody. They still may be the best choice but someone in the process(often more than one) will not like the decision.

If you are caring for a loved one at home you need to set limits for yourself that take into account the needs of your own family and yourself. When caring for a loved one damages otherwise healthy relationships in your life, you have to step back and decide if this is really the direction that builds the harmony in your family, between you and your spouse/kids etc. Examine your actual financial picture. Are you robbing your own family's future?

We all will feel guilt that we cannot make things better for everyone and especially for a dependent aging loved one. But consider this - guilt is only appropriate where intentional HARM has been done. You can honestly feel regret, sadness, even disappointment - but unless you are moving Mom because you have been abusing her - then guilt is misplaced.

Once you make the decision, establish reasonable levels of visitation and attention. You are not simply giving her a different place to sleep and must not spend every waking moment of your life in the home with her. I understand that Mom will attempt to heap guilt on you - just smile, spend time effectively and lovingly and pay attention to the care she is receiving. Then you must leave and continue your own life and other responsibilities.

Caring for someone to the point of self-destruction ultimately hurts the person receiving your care.

Thanks for caring Gary The Caregiver Foundation of America

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