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Is it still safe for my mom to live at home?

When you see a decline in your parent's functioning it's often hard to decide if it is still safe for them to continue to live at home. Having experts assess the situation can help.

Issue of guardianship

I recently had the privilege of helping Kelley and her mother. Kelley contacted me because someone had submitted a petition for Guardianship for her mother. Kelley lives in the same city and sees her mother often. Kelley loves and is committed to her mother's care and well-being. When her case went before a judge she won and took over all decision-making related to her mother's care.

Safety in the home.

The underlying issue of her case was whether it was safe for her mother to continue to live at home by herself. When her mother's memory started to decline Kelley hired caregivers 4 hours a day to make sure she had medication management, and help with bathing and meal preparation. When she realized that her mother needed more supervision during the day and before bed, she increased the hours of caregivers to 10 hours a day. Kelley installed cameras and motion detectors. Through the increased caregiver's attention and her own, she became aware that her mother had sundowners and that she was more active between dinner and midnight. One of Kelley's best ideas was to have the caregiver take her mother on a 30 to 90-minute-long walk before bed. It was the perfect solution and helped her mother get tired enough to stay asleep through the night.

The gray area between safety and dignity

I have helped hundreds of families as they traveled the road from home to assisted living/memory care and I can tell you that it is rarely black and white. It is rare to see a family desperate enough and worried enough about safety to use EMS and/or law enforcement, to remove a family member from the house. There is so much gray area between someone being in a "safer" situation and someone actually being in danger. A normal part of the challenge is that the parent wants to stay at home, and would probably be happier at home with caregivers, but 24/7 caregivers are very expensive and most seniors don't like having someone in their home all day and night. More often than not there is a moment when the family decides it is ultimately safer to move their loved one to assisted living/memory care. If you are not sure if your loved one is still safe to live at home we can help with a comprehensive assessment. Navigating this time in your loved one's life can be very complicated and you need experts who can assess the situation.

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