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Joy is the Decisive Test

joykidThe path for every individual and family is unique in caring for a loved one. Some families have unlimited resources while others have finite resources and must choose from within the options they can afford.

I’m often asked “When is it time to move into a community?” For some, never, and for others the earlier the better. I have seen with my family and with clients that when there is cognitive decline, it can be hard to adapt to a memory care community. Sometimes waiting longer can make it harder.

I am still surprised when I tell others how happy my parent’s were AFTER they were required to move from Independent Living to Assisted Living. I was physically ill days leading up to the move and my mom was incredibly angry. Thankfully, all three of my siblings came to town to help them move from their very large double apartment in Independent Living to a one bedroom in Assisted Living.

The change in my mom was immediate. The smaller world to manage and the view of front entrance to the community gave her something to watch. I was surprised at how quickly they forgot their old apartment.

I do know that sometimes it cannot be the decision of the individual whether or not to move. Sometimes a spouse isn’t ready for the change, or they feel like it is their responsibility to maintain the prior life.

Whatever the circumstances of your decision, I hope that you can consider how much meaning and purpose factors in to the joy your loved one can still experience. Is trying to maintain the former life overwhelming? Might their be other options to fill their day that will bring them joy where they are?

Just remember that you will make the best decision you can with the information you have at the time in which you need to make a choice. Caregiving is hard. Reminded. 

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