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Care Conversations – Making Difficult Decisions Easier #CareConvo

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This is a sponsored post on behalf by Global Influence, however, all opinions are my own. 

Realizing the fact that one day you will need to make plans about your parent’s care is hard, but actually having to put those plans into action can be even harder. I know because I recently went through it with my own father.

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For years I wanted to avoid the thought of my dad getting to the point where he could no longer care for himself. My sister, father and I had never sat down to discuss his future care. Looking back, I don’t know if it was denial or fear or what. We knew he had already planned for his final expenses, and maybe we figured he had everything else planned for as well.

Thankfully he had already made some plans and filled out important documents such as an Advanced Directive, but that was all he had done.

I do know that the time came a lot sooner than any of us expected.

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It all began with a diagnosis of prostate cancer which was taken care of until a few years later when it reappeared in his lungs, and then in his brain. It was that last round that changed everything. After the surgery he had a few good months, but then it started going down hill quickly.

Not wanting to put him in any type of nursing home, my sister and I decided to care for him as long as we could at his home. For a while things went okay. But then we began to see signs of decline.

He wasn’t able to keep up with his medications. He wasn’t able to drive. He was a bit unsteady on his feet. At first it was just the little things, but it soon began progressing to bigger things until it got to the point where for his safety and our peace of mind, he needed more care than we could give.

Without the money to hire a full-time private nurse, without the room to bring him to my apartment, our only option was to move him out of his condo and into a place where he could have access to the care he needed.

The process of finding the right place for him was a hard one. By this time my sister had removed herself from the situation completely, so it fell to me and my husband to find him a place to stay.

My first step was to talk with his doctors about the level of care he needed. Knowing he was able to function but just needed some assistance and someone close by 24-7, I didn’t want to put him (or feel he needed to be) in a nursing home, yet he couldn’t live completely alone.

Instead, it was decided an assisted living situation would work best.  From there it was a matter of finding one that not only provided the care he needed, but a place where he would be happy.

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I spent hours on the internet looking for the perfect place. A place where he would have his own “apartment” and the freedoms that came with it, yet would still be able to provide him with the care he needed. A place where they would also be able to provide varying levels of care in case his needs changed over time.

Once I had it narrowed down a bit, I then began visiting the places, taking tours of the entire facility, asking questions of the management, the caregivers and the residents, and taking pictures to show my dad. I visited at least 15 different facilities around my hometown before I found a place that fit his needs perfectly.

CareConversations.org (now the AHCA/NCAL site) – An Online Resource to Help you Plan and Prepare

Nothing about watching your parents grow old and having to find the care they need is easy. Sitting down with them, talking to them about what they want and what they hope you will do can make the entire process a lot easier

The AHCA/NCAL site (formally careconversations.org) is a great resource for helping you plan and prepare. They can help you with every step of the process from sitting down with your parents to discuss their future care to learning about the different care options available to tips on moving to assisted living care, and so much more.

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