I'm in reasonably good health and still able to take care of myself (I live alone), but my children say I ought to think about going into a nursing home. They say I should do it before I start having problems, but I really don't want to. How can I decide what to do?


I’m sure your children want what’s best for you, and I’m thankful for their concern. Some of the saddest letters I receive are from older people who are completely alone now because their children have abandoned them.

Life becomes more difficult (I’ve discovered) as we grow older, and sometimes we have to face decisions that we’d rather not face. We all want to be active and independent, and that’s good—but eventually this may no longer be possible, and we need to prepare for that possibility.

This is why I’d suggest you begin looking now at health care facilities in your area, so that if you eventually have to move into one, you’ll know what is available. Look too at retirement communities and assisted living facilities, which allow you more independence. Many of these are very nice, and provide a safe and friendly atmosphere. In other words, look at all your options.

Pray too about your decision; God knows what is best for you, and He wants to help you make the right decision. Most of all, never forget that God loves you, and Christ never abandons His children. The Bible says, “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (Isaiah 46:4). This is God’s promise to you.