Dilemmas of the elderly can be anything … Part 1

Our assumption that the fears of the elderly revolve around the possibility of them moving into Residential Aged Care, is often correct.

However, there are a good many other concerns too – losing their licence, needing a walker because they’re becoming unsteady on their legs, feeling unsafe on their own or their realisation that they’re becoming increasingly forgetful. These are only the tip of the iceberg!

In meeting with families to ‘Demystify the Aged Care Puzzle,’ we get into all manner of discussions, many of which don’t involve moving into Residential Aged Care.

I recently had a long consultation with a widow, in her early 80’s, still driving,  incredibly capable and healthy, computer savvy and financially very secure. Her quandary was whether to move and buy a lovely unit in a secure retirement living complex.

Retirement Village unit

Retirement Village unit

For some, I’d advise against it because of their failing health and fragility, and the likelihood of them needing full time care in the near future. But for this woman, whose mother lived to her late 90’s, there seemed to be no contraindications.

The different advice from family members, along with the mixed messages and opinions of her friends, had created a state of confusion, so she asked me to come to listen to her story.

Being an outsider, with no vested interest, I was able to listen impartially, then give her – not answers – but an Action Plan.

The plan was this – Take a sheet of paper and write a Pro’s list and a Con’s list and see how the balance tips. She had done this previously, but this time she had to consider some extra factors based on things she’d shared with me:

1/ Will this new home make me feel safer than I do living here?

2/ How do I feel about leaving the only house my husband and I shared?

This delightful lady now had a place to start with a new thinking process, devoid of the opinions of all and sundry, all of which were causing her considerable distress.

Happily, I can report that she did her homework and now has a contract on the home that she really wants to purchase.

I received this message the other day, ‘Thank you for your help in providing me with a lot of information regarding my future. Thank you again!’

As most of us don’t talk aloud to ourselves in a full-scale conversation about our problems or concerns, we never allow our brain to search for the answers. This is why a consultation can be so helpful. When we share our story with an outsider, our brain can go into action so that we often answer our own question!

It’s rewarding listening to people then watching to see how they solve their own problems.

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