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WebSideStory Pick of the Week! 3/16/98

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Senior Housing Net
    JULY 14, 2000
    Staying Informed And Making Informed Decisions
    By: Gail R Mitchell
    Caring for a loved one is a huge responsibility. For 
    many caregivers, there doesn't appear to be enough 
    time in the day to take time out to research new 
    advances in medicine, new medications, choices, and 
    much more. I cannot stress the importance in doing 
    this work. While it may appear that it interferes with 
    your daily routines and responsibilities, think about 
    the time it will save you in the long run when you 
    are forced to do this work. By being aware in all the 
    areas that are necessary, you and your loved one 
    will benefit greatly by your preparation.
    Finding Information:
    Other Sources:
    ·Associations and Organizations
    ·Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers, 
     Professionals, Therapists
    ·Support Groups, Therapists
    ·Senior Centers
    ·Area Agency On Aging
    ·Elder Law Attorneys
    ·Assisted Living Facilities or Nursing Homes
    ·Childcare Facilities
    ·Friends and Family
    ·Legislators - Politicians
    ·The Person You Are Caring for
    Making Informed Decisions:
    Frequently, most likely, you will be thrown into 
    the position of having to make a snap decision. 
    Will you have enough knowledge to make a 
    good decision?
    I remember when my mother was rushed to the 
    hospital. Tests revealed her salt levels were just 
    a point or two above critical. Her symptoms were 
    almost like a dementia, not recalling short-term 
    events and remembering things from the past 
    very clearly. The doctor warned me that they 
    would have to delicately bring her salt levels 
    back into balance or she might suffer permanent 
    damage. There was a great deal of talk about 
    her having to go into a rehabilitation facility. 
    Thus began my in depth research for nursing 
    homes and rehabilitation facilities by myself and 
    with her social worker from the hospital. Having 
    to make a decision without prior discussion as to 
    what my mother would have wanted was heart 
    wrenching. Knowing what was available and the 
    choices available made it easier and comforting. 
    What if this occurred while I was out of town on 
    a business trip or vacationing? How could I have 
    dealt with it then?
    Caregivers tend to adjust and fall into a pattern 
    when things are stable but what if an emergency 
    crisis arises? What then?
    The best thing you can do is to sit quietly for a 
    few minutes and clear yourself of the emotional 
    trauma that may have taken hold of you. Ask for 
    guidance and direction from God or the Higher 
    Power to help you make the best choice. 
    Write down the decision that you are faced with. 
    List two columns. Head one column “pros” and 
    the other “cons.”
    In filling in the columns ask yourself the 
    following questions?
    ·Do I understand what is involved? 
    ·Do I need more information from doctors, 
     a professional, and your family?
    ·Is there anyone who can help me make this decision?
    ·Will the decision be for the highest good of the 
     carerecipient as well as yourself?
    ·Will the needs of your loved one be met?
    ·Will anyone be hurt or at risk as a result of the 
    ·Must I make an immediate decision or can it wait?
    Gather as much information from whatever resources 
    you need to make a wise decision. Most of all keep 
    your loved one informed and involved in the process 
    if they have their mental faculties in tact. By 
    weighing the pros and cons, you will be able to 
    make a clearer more informed decision.
    Remember to trust in your judgment. Know that 
    all your decisions will work out for the highest good 
    of those concerned. This will cut down on the guilt 
    feelings you may experience as a result of the 
    decisions. The phrase I keep in mind is that we are 
    in the right place, at the right time for the right 
    reasons. There is no right or wrong way when you 
    approach your decision methods in this fashion.
    Richest Blessings,
    We look forward to the opportunity 
    of serving you. We welcome your 
    comments, suggestions, and questions. 
    Please feel free to contact us at: or

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