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As one can imagine, taking care of family can look different for many different individuals. There are different dynamics within families as well as different cultures, religions and traditions to take into account. Often we find ourselves being cared for from a very young age only to grow older and realize that many of the individuals that cared for us from a young age, now require care for themselves. Here is where the difficult and challenging part often comes into play as many of the elderly, “don't want to be a burden” or are too proud to ask for help. The thought of a caregiver putting them in a home becomes tough not only on the elderly individual but often the caregiver as well.

The above was the case for my Great Aunt who is a resident at Tabor Village. The thought of having her go into a home felt (for the caregiver), that she somehow wasn't doing enough to be able to continue caring for my great Aunt at home. I myself come from a healthcare background and can tell you from a professional standpoint that caregiver burnout is real, guilt is a VERY common feeling and an individual cannot do everything alone.

That is where Tabor Village was a God-send for my family. They truly understand each person is an individual and all come from different backgrounds and dynamics. My great Aunt was very upset to be at Tabor Village at first and would not wish to take part in anything nor even eat. Fast forward to present day and between the terrific volunteers and highly qualified staff that put in countless hours and truly take time to get to know each resident as a unique individual, my great Aunt frequently talks about the outings she goes on and enjoys the many activities offered throughout the day.

If you or someone you know has been thinking that it's probably time a loved one go into a home or they could use some assistance, Tabor Village can not only help them, but will be there to support the caregiver as well.

Written by: Paul Lancaster

When do we know that is  time to look at independent, assisted, or long term care?

This is never an easy question as it puts a lot of stress on everyone concerned. Let’s start by looking at the difference between assisted and independent living. So often there is a fine line between not be able to take care of yourself properly and needing help. Many times this line is crossed so slowly you don’t even see it happening. It also is determined by genes, lifestyle, and external factors (size of house, stairs, big yard etc.)

The hardest decision is when you need to go from your own home to one that shares a common building with others that may or may not have meals available, activities, and others around for company. This transition is painful, stressful, and most difficult – but necessary. Generally speaking, it is probably better to make this decision too early rather than too late. This style of living provides much better safety, greater access to assistance and programs, activities, and most importantly of all – people who become friends quickly.

Assisted living is the next step. If you are starting to need help with one or more of the following; preparing meals, personal hygiene, managing medications, completing household chores, driving, or maintaining personal finances it is time to get some help.  It takes a while to get the system moving so starting this early is always a good idea. Why not get help when you need it, you deserve to enjoy your life, you worked hard enough already. Other signs that you or your loved one may need assisted living; aggression, stress, escalating care needs, safety, sundowning as the sun goes down very agitated behavior becomes more pronounced, and wandering.

It is never easy on anyone to make these decisions. Seek help from professionals. The government has many programs and resources to help with these challenges.

Written by Chuck Groot

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