Please, just be safe.

Think safe, act safe, be safe!

There comes a time when life throws you a fast ball, and hard decisions are coming your way. Emotions are telling you one thing, your family may be telling you another. There's your doctor's opinions and your financial advisor's opinions and many others. How do you decide what's best for yourself and your loved one and when it's time for an elder-care facility?

In most cases the decision is already made for you and the explanation is clear. Where will my loved one be safe? Where will I be safe? That's really all that is behind a very difficult choice.

Recently, I spoke with a couple facing just that dilemma. She was terrified to have to care for her husband full-time. She already wasn't sleeping and was exhausted. His prognosis was difficult, and he was painfully unaware that he was unable to care for himself and that he was declining, although he knew what his wife and the doctors were telling him.

He, of course, wants to stay home, although he has come to realize that this idea is not right for his wife. She wants him to have better care than she feels she can provide. That is going to require round-the-clock awareness. She can't possibly provide that no matter how much she loves him. They are having a difficult time adjusting to the transition that is required.

We simply spoke about safety.

Sometimes, he falls. She can't lift him. It worries her. He's not safe at home.

He tries to control his medicines at home. Sometimes he forgets. It worries her. He's not safe at home.

Sometimes, he can't move as easily as he would like to dress and bathe himself. It worries her. He's not safe at home.

There are no real decisions to be made here. He's not safe at home.

So what do they do next? They can reach out to one of the elder-care facilities, such as Brookdale Lake Orienta, who will send a consultant right to their home to give them a free assessment of their situation. In this case, they have long-term care, so they can contact our friends at Amada Senior Care, who will sit down with them and go over the options Long-term care provides them. If you don't know about long-term care for yourself, you should check it out. I'll write about that soon.

And what do they do now? What would you do now? There are lots of options. You can contact us at the Orlando Senior Help Desk to get more of them, or to be directed to those who can help. Call us at 407-678-9363. The only question you need to have the answer to is, “Are they safe?” The rest of the questions, we can get the answers for you.

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