Assisted Living is NOT your enemy

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“We want to keep her out of assisted living as long as possible.” “My brother thinks it’s horrible that we want to move dad.” “I’m exhausted caring for my loved one at home, but moving them just seems cruel.” “She took care of me when I was younger, so now it’s my turn.” “I don’t want to move him to a home.”

I’ve heard all of these phrases time and time again. Occasionally I’ll even get a comment on a post that echoes these same sentiments. I published a post recently, “The one-sentence answer to when it’s time to move someone” and somebody on LinkedIn commented one word, “Never.”

Frustrated, I commented back. “When you say something like that, you make it even more difficult for stressed and exhausted caregivers to make a decision they may need to make. You’re stigmatizing something that is already over-stigmatized.” I didn’t get a response—no surprise there—but it encouraged me to write this post.

Assisted living is not the enemy. Society has beat into us this idea that you “must take care of your person at home forever!” when, for some people, this isn’t feasible, reasonable, responsible, or safe.

Honestly, that’s why I wrote my book. I realized that there were so many people in the same boat: they felt guilty about moving a loved one and didn’t know where to turn for answers. I wanted to write something that not only answered their questions but also made them feel OKAY but making a hard choice.

Don’t let someone tell you what is right for you or your loved ones’ living situation.

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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of three published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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