Why is it so hard to decide if it's time to go into long-term care?
For many families, the decision to consider long-term care for an elderly loved one can be difficult and fraught with complex emotions. Simply starting the conversation about long-term care can be painful for many people, and it’s not uncommon for someone to avoid the topic for as long as possible.
It’s important to understand that these feelings, while difficult, are normal. Emotional distress is not a sign of weakness and should not be treated as an inconvenience or hassle. Whenever possible, these big feelings—whether they’re your own or someone else’s—should be met with compassion.
Today, we’re breaking down the different emotions that make it difficult for families to consider long-term care for their elderly loved ones, starting with denial.
There are many schools of thought on grieving, but denial is often a very real part of the process. Having a conversation about assisted living or nursing care requires admitting to yourself that your elderly loved one may indeed need long-term care. And this requires acknowledging that your parent or family member may be nearing the end of their life. Saying this out loud can be very difficult and emotional, and it’s easy to understand why many people prolong doing so for as long as possible.
Even if you yourself have made peace with—or at least considered—the idea that your elderly loved one needs more care, your family members may not be on board yet. If you have a sibling or a cousin who refuses to even entertain the possibility of long-term care, having a conversation about logistics can feel impossible. This adds another layer of pain and difficulty to an already upsetting situation.
Even if you do get the family on board with exploring long-term care options, it’s not so simple as choosing a restaurant for dinner. Most cities have countless elder care facilities to choose from. If you don’t know how to tell a good one from a mediocre one, you may feel immense pressure to pick the “right one.”
There’s also the question of paying for long-term care. Family money conversations can be sticky, and insurance can be confusing. Even people with plenty of money to pay for quality care can become paralyzed by the complexity of the finances.
Our friends usually mean well when they tell us horror stories about their own situations. But if you know someone whose elderly loved one had a terrible experience in a care facility, it’s understandable to have some serious trepidation about sending your own loved one somewhere similar. This fear may be amplified when you live in a different city and can’t stop by on a regular basis to make sure they’re receiving quality care.
A lot of sitcoms and other media have cracked jokes about the guilt families should feel about “putting” their loved ones “in a home.” These jokes—and similar messages from your peers—can be very hard to hear if you yourself are considering long-term care for your elderly loved one. The truth is that these jokes are often made in poor taste and do not reflect the many complex realities that make long-term care the best, safest option for many elderly people. However, given how common these careless comments are, it can be difficult to separate them from your own feelings.
This is why CARESULTANTS exists.
CARESULTANTS is a team of compassionate elder care experts who understand these common, complicated feelings. We can help you, your family, and your elderly loved one navigate these emotional decisions, starting from the initial conversation with your family.
Here’s what we can do:
Mediation. A CARESULTANT can serve as both expert and peacekeeper during a difficult conversation with your family. You can count on us to listen compassionately to each person and give advice based on medical facts. We can help you make the best decisions for your elderly loved one while protecting your family relationships.
Medical evaluation. As elder care experts, we can do an in-person assessment of your elderly loved one and share our own stance on what they need. We will consult medical documentation from their other care providers when forming our recommendations.
Research and selection of care facilities. We lift the burden of choosing the right care facility entirely from your shoulders, from research to site visits and more. Depending on what you want, we can narrow down to three options for you to review, make a selection for you, or take another approach that works for you.
Ongoing vetting. CARESULTANTS will continue to support you even after your elderly loved one has moved into an elder care facility. We can send a nurse or other qualified professional to visit them on a regular basis to make sure they’re receiving quality care. You can trust us to hold your loved one’s facility to incredibly high standards and tell you right away if we have concerns.
The CARESULTANTS team understands how difficult this stage of the aging process can be. This is, quite simply, why we exist: We want to relieve you of this overwhelm and help you make more confident decisions about how to proceed. You can trust us to listen to you without judgment, show empathy for your emotions, and make recommendations based on decades of experience in elder care.
If you’re struggling with the idea of long-term care, let’s talk. Schedule a 15-minute call with us.