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Five Blogs, Five Caregiver Tips when a loved one has Dementia: #5 Long-Term planning

Posted Sep 25th, 2015 in Long-Term Care, Retirement, Safety, Tips, Dementia

Five Blogs, Five Caregiver Tips when a loved one has Dementia: #5 Long-Term planning

This is the hardest topic to address when we have someone close to our heart who is living with dementia.

Perhaps you are caring for an elderly parent, or have a spouse living with the disease.  Perhaps you are a family observer, trying to help from the outside without being too intrusive.  Maybe you have agreed to the role of Power of Attorney of Health, and tough decisions need to be made.

If decision making is pointing towards future advanced care needs, it is imperative to become informed as to the process to secure assistance.

Here are some thoughts to consider...

  • What resources are available in your community to provide home care in a personal residence?  What are the limitations and ensuing costs?  Speak to your health care provider about options.
  • What are short and long-term plans to support the family unit and the individual living with dementia?  If the plans are not sustainable in the long-term, what other planning can take place?
  • Review my mobile apps if considering Retirement care or Long-Term care residences.  The built in resource manuals and tour guides can facilitate your problem solving, to find the location that best suits your needs. Elderpilot: see our home page
  • What is affordable, and are their subsidies to assist people in securing a bed in a Long-Term care residence?  (There are several blogs on this site with more information)

Often as Caregivers, there is a sense of judgement from others, when one decides they can no longer manage the care of a loved one at home   It is hoped at this time, those troops discussed in Blog #1 will rally and support this decision because they have been an integral part of the care planning.

Guilt affiliated with promises of never turning to a care home may create a perceived barrier to making choices.  The following blog may help:

http://www.elderpilot.com/site/blog/2015/08/26/caregiver-guilt-and-long-term-care-homes-sometimes-promises-are-not-for-keeping

Grieving may occur when tough choices are made associated with losses: the loss of a previous lifestyle, life partner, and plans for travel, and retirement.  The following blog may help:  

http://www.elderpilot.com/site/blog/2014/04/10/and-then-there-was-one

Regardless of what decision is made re future care, it is imperative that the individual living with dementia is cared for safely, and with dignity and respect.  For some folks that may mean staying in their personal home, for others care homes may be required. 

To help sustain links to their legacy, think about preparing a scrap book to evoke memories for the individual with dementia, and their caregivers.  

What a wonderful way to tell their story.  Should words fail, the pictures will weave their own tale. These ideas may help:

http://www.elderpilot.com/site/blog/2014/06/01/a-box-full-of-memoriesmaking-a-visit-to-a-long-term-care-home-or-an-elders-personal-residence-more-meaningful

Understand that the person living with the disease, will experience changes physically and cognitively, which are beyond their control.

Understand that although at some point the light in their eyes may fade when you appear, it is because of the illness.  But, their light will always exist in those who choose to mirror its' reflection. We can continue to keep the light shining through our efforts to continue living and embracing your story.

And of greatest importance, be good to yourself...

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