No one ever says, “I can’t wait until the day that my children put me in a nursing home!” The idea of “home” is comforting, familiar and where our memories are created. Rarely does someone want to leave their home. The goal for most folks is to age in place, where all the memories they created began.

As our loved ones age, we must be mindful of their safety. We must question if the home they are living in is the safest place for them. Can they safely access the bathroom? The bedroom? Are they able to prepare a meal safely in their kitchen? Is it more than one floor?

The promise of not putting your loved one in a nursing home is made often. Sometimes in a light-hearted way when there is no crisis in sight. Sometimes in a guilt-ridden, emotional state when no promises should be made. So how do we honor the wishes of our loved ones, always keeping their best interest in mind?

If you look in the dictionary, the definition of “promise” is a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen. We must modify this definition we are referring to a promise made by a caregiver to a loved one. We suggest calling it “The Caregiver’s Promise”. The definition of The Caregiver’s Promise will read as follows:  The Caregiver’s Promise- A declaration of assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen if it is in your best interest for your safety, well-being, financial means, and quality of life.

Changing the definition of this type of promise sure does make it easier to talk about what this means for your loved one. At what point is someone unsafe, not being mindful of their financial means, and not experiencing a true quality of life? The truth is those thresholds are going to be different for each senior and their family. There are so many variables in each family that make their situations truly unique. What is the disease process going to be like for your loved one? Chances are, you cannot fully predict where someone may be physically in the future. You can predict what your finances are to a point, but we are living longer and must determine if an aging loved one will outlive their money. If the expense of caring for someone at home poses a concern for finances, this may not be the best option for them.

After conducting a Home Safety Assessment, your Mobility Concierge at Mobility Doctor will take the time to discuss options with families and will be honest and realistic when it comes to investing in long term solutions for your loved ones. In some cases, investing in a stairlift or ramp may not be the best option if the family cannot sustain care at home for their loved one due to finances.

Help us to change the definition of The Caregiver’s Promise to best serve your loved one. Having this conversation early in the caregiving experience help will not only empower your loved one to be a part of the decision-making process, but it will also help them know what to expect as their health status declines and be prepared if staying home with care is not the best solution for them

To schedule your complimentary home safety assessments, please call 609-759-1261 or email sheli@mobility-doctor.com.

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