Heads Up!

By Sally

There are a lot of people (of all ages) in our city (well, every city) that are kind of trapped at home. Although being at home is a lot better than in a “care home,” it also has its shortcomings.

We all like to be with our “things” instead of sharing a room, eating what is put in front of us, and many other things that could probably be a list of 10 feet plus. Being at home is a whole lot cheaper, but you might still need a person with you, depending on the seriousness of your health problems and the limitation of your ability to function. You may need someone to fix your meals (or you can get meals on wheels), someone to help you in and out of bed, or to bathe you. These sort of go along with the services of a care home.

As far as having someone to talk to at home, that depends on how many of your family or friends work, so they are not available during the day, whether you are home or elsewhere. These choices never seem to be too exciting – home with no visitors or care home with no visitors.

The newest idea (not really newest) is for people to stay at home as long as they can. Let’s face it, people improve faster and better when they are around familiar territory. So if you are ever faced with making this decision for a wife, husband or family member, stop and do some checking out of places, at different times, and watch what is happening.

I think some places will let you try a couple of days, but even that won’t tell you. Just popping in every so often is the best way. And take a trusted friend with you for a second set of eyes and ears.

When you decide, don’t forget to include the patient in the decision. Ask what they want, how they feel. If possible, take them with you on a pop-in visit.

Making your decision is really hard and very heartbreaking. Keep your thoughts clear, make notes, make calls, and discuss it with the patient. Make sure you understand their feelings; don’t slip in yours along side of them. Be loving, kind, considerate and willing to take the responsibility of your decision, because if there is family, you’re sure to be questioned. But if you are open in all your facts, willing to discuss them at anytime, and above all pray for guidance, you will eliminate a lot of confusion and disagreement.

November 6, 2013

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