A Caregiving Plan: Living Environment Choices
“The prudent carefully consider their steps.” (Proverbs 14:15 NLT)
Thoughts for Today
Evaluating and selecting a living environment for your loved one, whether short term or long term, is a major decision. To determine the best alternative, begin by examining current and expected needs. Consider questions like these:
- What is unsatisfactory about the current arrangement?
- What changes would best address those issues?
- Can they be addressed without a move? How?
- If a move is needed, would a family residence or a care facility be more suitable for our situation?
- If a facility, what level of care would best meet the needs? Independent living with help available as needed? Assisted living? Nursing home?
As today’s scripture says, consider your steps carefully. Do your homework! Get on Google. Explore the differences in the various types of facilities. Talk to people you know who have had someone in a care facility. Talk to people you know in the caregiving or medical fields. Discuss with other family members. And, of course, discuss what you are learning with your loved one if she or he is able—and really listen to the response.
Consider This ...
When you have chosen the type of environment needed, start your research again. If you have determined your loved one can still live in a residence, explore ways to address the current unsatisfactory issues in that residence. Learn about medical alert tools, ways to make the physical environment more friendly to your loved one’s physical needs, home healthcare . . . and other possible solutions.
If you have decided a care facility would be more appropriate, begin comparing those in your area. Make a list of must-haves and would-like-to-haves. Research the facilities online. Again, talk to people who may be familiar with any of them. Ask to see the facilities’ inspection reports. Visit unexpectedly at different times of the day or night. Most of them would be happy for you to come for a meal. If your loved one is able, be sure to include him or her in that.
Consider your steps carefully. Listen to your loved one. Do your homework. And above all, pray for guidance.
Father, so many things to consider. Help me learn truth as I research. Help me be sensitive to my loved one’s desires and needs. And, above all, help me be sensitive to your leading. In Jesus’ name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …
Caregiving: Caring for Aging Parents by Charles Puchta. The purpose of this curriculum is to provide hope and direction to those concerned about the health and well-being of aging parents or an ill spouse or relative. We address predominate issues most families face. Each session is designed to discuss a specific area of concern such as the purpose of a caregiver or end-of-life planning. It will become clear to participants that the Bible provides encouragement and direction to help them through this caregiving journey. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.
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