No matter how hard we try to make the right decisions, we can’t always be sure of our choices. One of the most difficult life decisions is knowing when the time is right to put our loved one, spouse, or parent into an assisted living or nursing home.

It is difficult to watch decline. Sometimes it is so subtle we don’t see it and other times we ignore it hoping it will improve or go away. We live with the guilt of not being there or the fear of our loved one not receiving the right care. We feel no one can love our family as we do.

Though no one can replace family, there are people who dedicate their life to the care of those who cannot care for themselves. Home care companies are an option but, can be costly with 24-hour care. Sometimes, the best thing we can do for our loved one is give them the complete care that we cannot give them at home. Assisted living has many options. A loved one can have a lot or just a little help. They are able to make social choices and can live as independently as possible. Medical help options are available when needed. Most importantly, they have the company of others reducing isolation.

Isolation is something we have all experienced with the recent COVID-19 pandemic. For a senior stuck in at home alone, it can be deadly. Today’s pandemic has made the decision to move more emotional than ever. Is it safer for my loved one to be at home or in assisted living? Will the caregivers be careful? When will I be able to visit my loved one?

The fear is understandable, however these communities are dedicated to the safety of their residents. Having your loved one in a community will allow them to have 24-hour care. There is someone for their medical, physical and emotional needs. They are not isolated at home. Each community works to protect their residents and their staff from any illness that could endanger them.

With this dedication, an assisted living or nursing home can offer you peace of mind that your loved one is cared for when you are unable to do so. Does this make the decision easier? Probably not. However, with proper research on a community, understanding that a move can be the best choice to protect the ones we love, you can move forward with confidence. Hopefully, giving you peace of mind in this COVID-19 time.


Melinda Smith is business development at Providence Healthcare Management, The Fountains Assisted Living in Lyndhurst.

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