Making decisions as a caregiver almost always comes with pressure and stress.  Even if aware of the loved one’s wishes, circumstances may make them seem less definable and unclear.  Consequences of these decisions can affect your loved one’s life and health.  Breaking big decisions into separate steps will help you approach these decisions.

Here are some ways to break down big decisions:

  • Figure out what goal you need to accomplish
  • Get information
  • Examine alternatives
  • Make an action plan
  • Give your decision time to work
  • Evaluate how well it’s working

If you are unclear as to what kinds of decisions need to be made, it helps to define the issues being faced.  Priority should go to issues facing health or safety of those involved while trying to produce the greatest positive change.  Essential information to consider about the care receiver are:

  • physical and functional information
  • psychological information
  • financial information
  • social information

Include others such as family members in decision making.  Collect all the relevant ideas, information, and facts you can.  The most successful solution will most likely be one that has the fewest undesirable consequences, appeals most strongly to the person most involved, and has the most family members’ support.

-Nicole B., community educator