Excuses are easy, change is tough - Make the right choice Posted by Doug Fusella in Assisted Living, Memory Care, Independent Living, Home Care, Hospice Care, Respite Care, Products & Services, Nursing Homes, Care Homes on 12 Apr 2010Every day, we humans wake to face a day full of decisions and responsibilities. These can range from changing the burned out light bulb in the den to making decisions about the well-being of a parent of loved one. While the ramifications of making excuses to put the changing of the light bulb off for a few days are minor, maybe some low light and sniping comments from your spouse, the consequences of putting of much needed decisions in regard to your housing or care needs or those of your parent or loved one can be far reaching for all involved, including putting one's health at risk. The decisions regarding senior housing and care can include the following: Deciding that your house of many years and memories is too much to maintain and/or afford and looking into an active adult community. Heeding the warning signs that you see at your parents' residence and initiating serious conversations about moving to an assisted living community or hiring a home health agency to alleviate fears and give needed assistance to those that need it. Separating a couple to make sure that one is getting proper care for conditions such as Alzheimer's when staying together would cause issues for both parents. All of these situations call for tough decisions and possible conflict. Most of us, by nature, try to avoid conflict whenever possible. We justify putting off decisions and change by using such excuses as being too busy, feeling guilty that we cannot solve things ourselves, not wanting to upset the family during the holidays or convincing ourselves that Mom is just having a bad day and will be better tomorrow. How do we push through these roadblocks? How do we overcome guilt? How do we initiate conversations that we know will lead to conflict? Here are just a few suggestions, the more you open up and discuss, the more suggestions you might hear to help: Start early. You need time to do research and find the information that helps you work through the issues in a caring and informed way. If we wait too long, stress builds and emotions rule. Talk to friends that have made similar changes. If a few of your longtime friends have moved to a retirement community nearby, have dinner, discuss what they went through and how they made their decisions. Consult with experts, family physicians, those that know your family and others that have knowledge of current conditions and what assistance is really needed. Instead of acting out of guilt, act out of love and responsibility. If you observe changes, invest more time observing to make sure that these are long-term changes instead of trying to convince yourself that tomorrow will be better. When it comes to health, it's always better to err on the side of caution. Would you feel worse if you made your parents mad, they realized change was needed and made the change or if you ignored warning signs and something happened? Make firm goals to address issues and stick by them. If you want to get through the holidays, great, set an appt for January 4th to discuss with your parents and /or professionals. These decisions are very tough, emotional and life-changing. Start addressing as early as possible, involve experts, conversation (forums are a great community resource) and lots of research. Sympathize with all angles, but do the best for those involved, not matter how tough the process may seem. Your actions will ensure the highest quality of life for ALL involved.