Advances in modern medicine have fortunately, as well as unfortunately served to extend life longer. However, while many people are now dying at more advanced ages, their quality of life is not necessarily being improved. In addition the burdens associated with ever increasing medical care has made life for their families even harder (despite promises made by the Affordable Care Act) by forcing them to make incredibly hard choices regarding how and where to see their loved ones cared for. Forget the hospital bills, according to a 2015 Cost of Care Survey the nationwide average daily rate for care provided at assisted living or nursing homes runs about in a private room is $250 for a private room and $220 for a semi-private one, translating to about $91,250 and $80,300 per year respective. This is far more than most families earn, let alone need to support themselves for day-to-day living, even with rent or mortgage payments. In addition, those living in a nursing home long term should expect to see nearly a 4% annual increase in the base rate depending on what part of the country they reside in. As a result, many families have no choice other than to take care of their elderly relatives at home.
Yet, despite Todd F. Cope’s claims that caring for elderly loved ones does not have to be a “burden,” the truth is that it is generally far more exhausting physically, mentally and emotionally than many people may think, particularly if they have never gone undertaken it before. This is especially true when it comes to caring for patients who are not only physically handicapped, but suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, and harbor their own anger and resentment about their condition.
On the other hand, the aptly named Cope, a former missionary and registered nurse who spent 7-years supervising the care of elderly residents at the largest assisted living facility in Utah, has succeeded in writing an incredible guide entitled “The Caregiver’s Journey: Compassionate and Informed Care for a Loved One,” to help families navigate these rough waters and emerge (hopefully) from then “intact” once their loved one passes. Not only does Cope present helpful information in an engaging and easily followed way, he does so by sharing real-life examples of how to deal with difficult situations. These include when to ask for and accept help, dealing with feeling of guilt, anger and resentment respecting and maintaining the patient’s dignity, and finally saying good-bye. As such, I highly recommend this book to all who are either just beginning their journey as a caregiver, or are already entrenched in its day-to-day existence. To learn more about the book, as well as to obtain a copy of your own visit www.cedarfort.com.