What will life be like now?

When talking with other families about their loved ones in assisted living or memory care, we were asking these questions:

  • How do we make sure our loved one is safe and happy here? How will we KNOW that?
  • When do we visit? How often?
  • What do we say or not say?
  • How do we communicate wtih the caregiving staff, nurse and director of this new community?

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When’s the best time to talk about care?

As they say, there’s no time like the present. If you’re asking this question, then something has happened that’s making you wonder about timing for this conversation. Allow me to share a bit of our story.

When I noticed changes in Mom’s behavior, I talked with my dad and both of my brothers. At this point, I was really just looking for validation, that I wasn’t the only one seeing her be more anxious and forgetting her words. They noticed some forgetfulness but not much else. Since I was the one who was around her the most, I saw the change early on.

Once you notice changes, what do you do next? There’s a fine line between interfering and having “preparation” conversations. There will be a strong emotions, driven primarily by fear, that will come up. I cover these in detail in my book It’s Not That Simple. Allow me to summarize here:

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Where’s Home?

Home means different things to different people. Home could mean anywhere the family gathers or it could mean the place that holds all of your belongings. It can also mean the place where you created many of your lifetime memories.

So when a person with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) or dementia says “I want to go home,” it doesn’t necessarily mean they want to go back to the house you grew up in. They also don’t want to hear “You ARE home now.” or “This is your new home now.” Here’s how to address this request when talking with your loved one.

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