Decisions, decisions. If you care for an aging parent, you’ve got so many decisions. In-home help vs. retirement living, assisted living vs. an adult family home. It’s enough to drive you nuts!
I work with adult children who make huge decisions on behalf of their parents. Usually, I’m helping them find an assisted living community or an adult family home that will provide comfort and care. I listen to their desires, their parent’s needs and wants, and of course, we talk about money and location. Then we tour. More questions surface, and sometimes the “deal breakers”–the things that initially seemed so important–drop off as we see various options.
Often my clients will ask, “If this was YOUR mother, which one would you choose?” Good question, except I can’t answer it for several reasons.
First, my mother has been dead for nine years. But more importantly, mothers and fathers differ widely in their tastes. If your parent typically vacationed in a tent when you were growing up, he or she might not feel comfortable in a posh assisted living with all the bells and whistles. Some elders love communities that remind them of cruise ships on land; others prefer those that resemble country lodges, and still others opt for the bed and breakfast type.
So how do I answer that question, “If this was YOUR mother, which one would you choose?” I say something like, “Only you can answer that question. But as you look around enough, you’ll know. You’ll be able to picture your parent in that place.”
And you know what? It works. At least almost all the time.