When you’re trying to keep you loved one in his or her home (or in your home) the nagging question always seems to center on the issue of safety. “When is it no longer safe to leave my loved one at home alone?”
The question may not be about moving your loved one to a care facility, but may involve deciding to bring in full-time help. It's tough to come to the conclusion about when caregivers need help. There are lots of safety check lists you can use, and if you want a long version, please send me an email and I’ll be happy to send you a detailed 13-question list for you to ponder.
On the other hand, here’s a shorter method of making the determination as to when it’s time to move into a new mode of care: We’ve all been in more than one relationship in our lives. Think back to when you were dating someone seriously, but you could feel that the relationship wasn’t going well. There was a rule of thumb that covered that circumstance, which was: “if you’ve been thinking about breaking up, then you’ve already made the decision to break up.”
The same tenet holds true in caregiving. If you’ve been thinking about moving your loved one to a care facility or hiring full-time help, then you’ve reached the point where that’s what you need to do. It will not be easy, but delaying only makes it more difficult and makes safety concerns for your loved one more acute.
For information on what the choices are, and some suggestions for taking the next steps, you can find lots of help in Paul and Lori Hogan’s book, The Stages of Senior Care.