Monday, July 21, 2008

Sleeping Well at Night

I was touched by the entry written yesterday by a family member who had just moved his loved one into a care center.

He talked of the pain of leaving his wife, but the joy when he came to visit a few days later to see his wife happy - dancing, even.

His closing comment was the most poignant:
This good news has lifted a huge burden from me. I now sleep through the night for the first time in eight years.

This is a comment I've heard countless times over the years. Families agonize about finding care for a loved one. They feel deep angst about moving a mom, dad or spouse out of the family home. Of course there's a little guilt. Of course there's grieving what once was, and is now lost.

After it's all said and done, however, the dominant feeling is relief.

It's all about balance. What works for one family is not the same as what will work for another. In this era, we need to be open, accepting and supportive of the solution that each individual family chooses. Not everyone should move into a care community. Not everyone should stay in his or her own home.

The true beauty of living in the age we do is that we have the choice. It's no longer home or nursing home - many options exist in between.

Here's to finding what works for you, and what lets you sleep well at night.

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