Matrix movie still - digital patient engagement

Digital Patient Engagement

Now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, more and more people are finding themselves locked away in their homes with plenty of time to think. Many are realizing the importance of staying informed and up-to-date with current events and what’s happening around the world. Others are finding themselves in the unfortunate position of being the most affected, as the most vulnerable members of society are those who suffer from dementia and other forms of memory loss. In times like these, the ability to retain knowledge becomes a vital skill.

For those who are aging and who are worried about their cognitive abilities, this realization can be a rude awakening. They may feel insecure about their mental faculties and are questioning whether or not they’ll end up in a care facility. If you’re one of these people, then it’s time to take stock of your situation and make some well-informed decisions about the kind of care you want to receive should you become incapacitated.

Caregivers need compassion too

Not everyone will have the fortune of being able to spend the last years of their life in peace and with their loved ones around them, and that’s a problem. Many people will be forced to choose between staying at home with their family or going into a nursing home where they might be ignored or mistreated. It is during times like these that we see so many unnecessary arguments and conflicts arise between family members who are supposed to be cooperating and supporting each other. Even those who are not related by blood may suffer from this lack of compassion, as they are simply doing their job and have no reason to feel guilty or bad about it.

With the current situation, everyone is learning to be more compassionate and understand the pressures that are being placed upon family members who are overburdened and under a lot of stress. Even when this is not the case, it’s easy to see how things could quickly turn ugly when you have a loved one who needs constant care and attention.

Why do you want to stay at home?

Deciding to remain in your home instead of moving into a care facility is a very personal decision. It’s one that you may weigh heavily on your own mind but also depends on your unique circumstances and your feelings about the pandemic in general. For some, it may simply be that life outside of the home feels more challenging and uncertain at this point in time, and staying at home allows them to feel that they’re contributing and helping their family. If that’s the case for you, then it might be a smart choice to remain in your home for as long as possible.

Another consideration is your own safety and the safety of those around you. If you believe that the pandemic is past its peak and you feel comfortable going outside, then perhaps it’s time to go for a walk or get some fresh air. You don’t want to overexert yourself and put yourself in harm’s way. If you do decide to venture out, then it’s vital that you follow all the necessary precautions and take an appropriate amount of time to recover before you do so. This is especially important if you have a loved one who depends on you for care and attention.

What if you get sick?

Depending on your health condition and the severity of the symptoms, you may not be able to make the right decisions about care and treatment for yourself. If you have a serious illness and are not sure whether or not you’ll recover, then it’s time to sit down with your loved ones and discuss what’s going on and what your wishes are. You can also ask for help and guidance from healthcare professionals who are familiar with your condition.

Even in these situations, it’s not always easy to decide who should make the decisions for you and who should be involved in your care. It’s something that you and your family members will have to hash out and come to a consensus about. Should you become incapacitated, it might be necessary to consider appointing a legal guardian who can make decisions on your behalf.

A whole other set of questions

Once you’re in the thick of things and deciding to stay in your home, there are a host of other questions that you need to consider. Will you be moving toward more independence and freedom as you age? Are you ready to accept help and support from others? How will you finance your care and residence at home? What happens if you run out of money? Where will you keep all your possessions? What are your plans for the future? There are a ton of questions that you need to ask yourself and that may help you make the right decision for your unique circumstance.

Be realistic about the situation

If you decide to remain at home instead of going into a care facility, then it’s important that you are realistic about your situation and the expectations that others may have about you. If you want to be surrounded by your loved ones and remain independent, then that’s what you need to work toward. Despite the positive attitude that you may have about remaining in your home, it’s essential that you set realistic goals and have a clear understanding of why you’re choosing this particular option. If you’ve been dreaming about being able to care for your family and friends and have a carefree life, then remaining at home may not be what you really want. You may be happier and more comfortable surrounded by your loved ones than you would in a care facility.

Decide what is important to you

It can be hard to prioritize your wants and needs when you’re in the middle of a pandemic, but it’s important that you do so. For those who are close to the end of their life and are feeling worried and insecure about their cognitive abilities, this may be a hard decision to make. If you’re having trouble coming up with certain wants and needs, then ask your family members or friends for their help. It can also be helpful to write out your top wants and needs and see if you can rank them in order of importance. Once you’ve got a clear picture in your head of what’s important to you, it will be much easier to make important decisions about your care and to be realistic about your situation.

What’s next?

Once you’ve made the decision to stay in your home, it’s time to move forward. There are a lot of things that you need to do and a lot to think about. It can be overwhelming, so it’s important to take it one step at a time and set aside time to reflect and take stock of what you’ve done. From here on out, it’s all about living your life to the fullest and being as independent and autonomous as possible.

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