(Today’s blog is the last in a series of four entries that treat a matter that most older adults eventually face: How will we live well when that becomes difficult?)
When the necessary preliminary work is finished, what’s left is the task of finding life-care arrangements that fit our expectations and hopes. Some are intangible—the feel of a facility, personal characteristics of likely caregivers, the likelihood of satisfying relationships. Other practicalities—budgets, expertise, location, activities, nutrition—are more easily seen. A few observations from my own experiences….
Don’t dismiss any options too quickly.
It’s possible to miss details—or to let them overwhelm us—in the first phases of our decision-making. Financial matters are a good example: Fee structures may have some latitude built in—options that aren’t always immediately visible. A first visit might catch staff or caregivers on a rough day. Answers to first-thought questions might engender other, in-depth queries—another cause for revisiting our decision-making process.
Involve several kinds of advisors in any decision.
We can likely depend on a variety of loved ones for honest assessments about the qualities of care available to us. (In addition to family members, we might seek the wisdom of adult grandchildren, longtime friends, social workers or medical personnel.) When well-sorted, others’ perspectives can help cement in place a tentative decision.
Assess resources realistically AND completely.
It may be difficult for us to realize all the assets that are available to us. This holds true for financial matters as well as our personal capabilities—some of them partially hidden. Most of us are surrounded and undergirded by abundances that we may have overlooked.
Try out some options.
Most organizations and facilities will offer a trial period, experiences that can add detailed depth to our observations, and provide time for more careful, on-site thinking.
My blessing on what’s next: As you find thoughts and actions that will answer your prayers, remember this: God will stick close to you!
(The fundamental framework for the insights in this blog series comes from Barbara Perman, founder, consultant and Senior Move Manager at Moving Mentor in Amherst, MA. For information about the full array of Moving Mentor’s in-person and virtual services, visit https://movingmentor.com )
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