By Scott Fleisch

It’s been over a year since dad came to live with our family, including my wife and our two sons, 17 and 20 years old, as well as two lovable dogs. A year since we got the call that dad was on his way to the hospital and his current caregiver was done.

Our lives suddenly went from a lifesaving rescue mission to 24\7 caregiving. I didn’t have a clue what I was getting into or what I was doing. Now I can proudly say dad is home with his family and he is well cared for. When I say “I” that includes my family and extended family of course. The truth is that having dad live with us has greatly affected all of our lives including the extended family and many friends. I definitely would not have been able to do it without them. I’m very lucky to have a great, caring family that has sacrificed and given until it hurts. Our sons changed their daily routines around dad. My wife has given countless hours caring for dad physically and emotionally. She has had to sacrifice time with me, and everything I do must also now include being there for dad.

I’m very fortunate my wife specializes in senior care and is experienced in navigating what is often an overwhelming senior care world. Now, she has the job of locating and taking advantage of funds and services.

My point is that the decision to take in a senior and become their caregiver involves the entire family, and it’s important to be as clear as possible what you plan to do, how it will change your world, as well as why you’re doing it, and including what every member’s role will be. This endeavor needs to be a unanimous family decision. Everyone has to be all-in and willing to be a participant in the journey.

It’s also imperative that you find experts willing to assist you to get the help and services you need and the funds available for care. Experts such as hospital social workers, your doctor and staff, and senior centers. Private companies such as Concierge Care Advisors are an invaluable source of knowledge, care, and ultimately, peace of mind. Make sure you and your family are physically and emotionally prepared for this great and noble adventure, and if you decide that you cannot do it, it’s perfectly okay. The important thing is that your parent is well-cared for in whatever setting you are able to provide them.