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Tough decisions

Posted September 03, 2014 in Advice Column, Perry

Every transition in life is stressful. Moving into high school can be terrifying. Being inducted into the military can be anxiety filled.  Those first weeks of marriage can be a nervous time. And making the decision to move a loved one into an assisted living or extended care facility can be extremely trying — for you.

Often we spend so much time worrying about how Mom or Dad will take the move that we lose sight of the amount of stress we put upon ourselves. Even though there are at least a few stress-causers in moving a loved one into a new extended care home, there are more reasons to relax.

The chief question we should answer when we get to that stage in life where we require more care is not “How long do I want to live?” but rather “How well do I want to live?” That’s where quality facilities make the difference. Twenty-four-hour monitoring, supervised medical care, proper food preparation and diet, safe conditions and a variety of services to make life easier are the things that get noticed most by new extended care residents. Homes that specialize in these physical cares and providing daily spiritual care are a cut above.

Many years ago my grandmother moved into a nursing facility under the insistence of my aunt. My aunt had been concerned about my grandmother’s falls at home, her numerous medical issues that were popping up and her lack of motivation. With a heavy heart she worried and waited on when would be the best time to make what she knew was the right decision. The day came when my grandmother fell and cracked a vertebra, and the time to make the change was now. My aunt’s worries changed from making the decision to have her mom in a home, to how was she adjusting and was her mom holding a grudge against her for forcing this move. Frequent communication with the nursing home staff helped, and knowledge that regular meals, activities and exercise were a part of her daily routine comforted. But her fears weren’t totally relieved until one day during a visit, Grandma took her aside and asked her to take her shopping for new clothes.

“The people in here dress up pretty nicely,” she said with a smile.

My grandmother got some new clothes and she lived well for several years in the care and keep of dedicated professionals and new neighbors who became an extended part of our family.

If you are facing the decision of finding more care for a loved one, rest easy. There are many good homes that can help you and your loved one relax.

Information provided by Pastor Max Phillips, CEO, Partnership of Perry Lutheran Home and Spring Valley Assisted Living, 2323 E. Willis, Perry, (515)-465-5342 or (515) 465-7500.

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