This week for National Caregivers Month, I want to talk about moving a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. What is the right time to think about moving a loved one?
That’s a very good question! In one support group a care partner suddenly thought one day, “What if something happened to me? Where would Pete go that night?” This started the rest of the group thinking about such a situation for their person with a dementia diagnosis.
If you fell and needed to be hospitalized, who would come over to your house immediately to be the care giver in your absence? Have you checked any facilities for respite care in the event that you don’t have family or friends who could step in and be a care giver while you were recovering? Do you have any back up?
It is always good to have a Plan B and C because, as you well know, there is no telling what might be just around the corner. Better to have a plan than not to.
The bigger decision that many folks put off is deciding when to move a loved one. The very thought of not living with your parent or spouse or life time friend can be too much to consider. However, there are some situations which may cause care partners to have to make such a decision. Consider:
- Is the person with dementia safe? Perhaps you cannot keep them from wandering even with all the safeguards you have in place. Maybe your home is too difficult for them to maneuver (stairs). Have they fallen once or twice?
- Is their behavior such that you cannot be comfortable with them around your young children? Due to their impairment, they may be extremely angry or suspicious most of the time. Are young children afraid to be with them?
- Is your health at risk? Are you overwhelmed with household chores, your job, parenting, being able to sleep through the night due to their wandering and sleep issues on top of care giving?
- Have you tried in-homecare and either it was too expensive, or the person with dementia simply refused to have a “stranger” in the house with them and fired the help?
Every situation is different and what one care partner might choose, may not be possible for another. You, and your family need to decide what is in the best interest of your loved one and the care partner. No judgments should be passed on those who are unable to continue caring for someone at home. You have responsibilities to a number of people, your employer, your nuclear family, yourself. We have some wonderful resources, articles about making these difficult decisions in our office. You can obtain copies by calling our 24/7 Helpline at 1.800.272.3900.