Often we hear from families, that need services for a parent, that their brother or sister doesn’t think mom needs anything or they feel she needs 10 times the care she really needs to stay safe and well. This conflict can sometimes delay an intervention that would benefit all family members.
It is hard to accept that a parent is in need of an intervention due to cognitive decline that might impair judgment and safety. It is also hard to insist that a parent needs help who is physically frail but resists having help. Often this resistance stems from the unfounded idea that accepting care might be a signal that the family might try to move them from their beloved home. Having a consultation with a professional Geriatric Care Manager or attending a class for “family caregivers” often allows all the family to hear the same information and make more informed decisions.
Finding the right balance of services for mom, that allows her to retain her dignity but keeps her safe, should be the goal of meetings with geriatric professionals. Mom’s values will have to be considered in any major decision in order to preserve quality of life. It is important that families choose to work with someone who is certified as a care manager and a member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers.
Making pre-mature and not well thought out decisions can cause great stress to families – know your options, know the costs and look for solutions that respect the dignity and values of the older person.