I want to Stay in my Home

Seniors want to stay in their own homes as long as possible.  Given the choice where to live out their lives, seniors would rather stay in their homes than move to nursing homes or assisted living facilities to receive long term care.  No surprise there.

The home must be safe.  The home must be appropriate for the senior’s health status.  If the home is not safe or appropriate, staying home is horrible idea.

Let’s look at this issue from the point of view of an aging Mom and her adult daughter, for a moment.  Mom wants to stay in her home.  The daughter wants to allow Mom to stay in her home.  Mom may have forced her daughter to promise never to move Mom to a nursing home.  Mom may have been in a nursing home already on a rehab stay after a hospitalization and may have cried everyday wanting to go home, dumping an enormous load of guilt onto her daughter.  Now, as Mom is aging and becoming weaker, her daughter worries that she might have to move mom “to a home” or Mom might fall in the house and lie injured on the floor for hours.

Daughter spends every day wondering if she is doing the right thing, caught between worrying about Mom’s health and wanting to follow Mom’s wishes.

Then Mom falls.  Daughter questions her decision not to place Mom into a nursing home or assisted living facility.  Daughter’s guilt can consume her, weighing her down emotionally and making her question her judgment at every decision that she faces.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear cut way to decide where an aging parent should live.  What Mom wants emotionally may not be a good choice for Mom’s actual condition.  Mom and daughter (and the rest of the family) are caught in a tangled knot of Mom’s wishes (reasonable or not,) advice from Mom’s doctor (decisive and clear or not,) and the family’s worries (well-founded or not.)

I hate to say it, but there is no crystal ball on the best place for Mom to live.  There are rarely clear cut answers.

Still, Mom’s family members must do their best to find what seems the best place for Mom.

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