One of the hardest parts of making a decision about care for an elderly loved one is knowing when the time is right to talk about assisted living.
For many people, the words “assisted living” can be scary. Your parent may have fears about being put in “a home” or “a facility,” or may have anxiety about being abandoned or forgotten.
Happily, assisted living today is very different from the retirement homes and bleak facilities of the past. Modern Assisted Living is built on a philosophy of providing the greatest possible independence for seniors while also meeting the growing needs that make home senior care feel difficult or even impossible.
How Do I Know When it’s Time for Assisted Living?
As a caregiver for an elderly loved one, you know their unique situation and needs better than anyone else. If you’re reading this, you may already be wondering whether Assisted Living might be helpful.
You may feel guilt about even asking these questions. Many caregivers feel a sense of responsibility or a belief that assisted living would mean giving up on their job or promise to provide care.
As they age, many seniors reach a point where living at home is no longer the best or safest choice. When that point comes, a move to assisted living may be the best way to fulfill your caregiving responsibilities.
So, how do you know when you’re heading in that direction?
How Do You Decide if Assisted Living is Necessary?
Age-related changes in lifestyle and ability are normal. But changes that result in a significant negative impact to quality of life, health, or safety are a cause for concern.
Have you noticed that you, your spouse, or your parent seem to be having new or increasing trouble remembering to take necessary medicines, take care of daily hygiene tasks, pay bills on time, or prepare food safely? These activities of daily living (also called ADLs) are important signposts on the road of aging. When they start to become a problem, it’s time to consider extra help.
Is it getting difficult to stay on top of simple home maintenance tasks? Loss of muscle tone, balance problems, and cognitive decline can all lead to a safe home becoming unsafe as keeping up with cleaning and home repair becomes too difficult.
Are depression or isolation increasingly worrisome? The loss of regular social support can cause feelings of depression, fear, anxiety, and despair. These can be particularly hard for the elderly to cope with.
Assisted living is there for the families who find themselves answering “yes” to these kinds of questions. When ADLs, independent self-care, or socialization become too difficult for a senior to manage at home without substantial help, assisted living can help restore quality of life and safety while preserving independence as much as possible.
Senior Care at Home and Caregiver Burnout
Do you currently care for a parent or spouse whose needs seem to grow daily? You may be feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, or even resentful. Caregiving between family members is a wonderful expression of love, but it doesn’t always feel that way
Caregiver burnout is real. When unaddressed, it can lead to feelings of depression, anger, and disconnection. Without help, caregiver burnout can even lead to abuse or neglect of loved ones.
Have you noticed yourself struggling to be patient with your loved one? Are you easily annoyed in ways that are new or worrying to you? Is it hard to do those small things that will make them feel happy or fulfilled? These are red flags of the early stages of caregiver burnout.
If you are becoming too exhausted or overwhelmed to care for your loved one safely, assisted living may be the answer. By sharing the responsibilities of caregiving, assisted living helps restore strained relationships. This makes it possible to enjoy months and years of family time together without the damage of burnout.
Assisted Living is a Loving Choice
Aging adults deserve a life that is safe, happy, and fulfilling. Making that happen sometimes requires an environment that is adapted and customized not only to their needs, but to the needs of the entire family together.
If caring for the routine needs of your loved one has started to feel like your full-time job, it may be time to see whether assisted living can lift the burden and let you go back to enjoying life together.
Would you like to learn more about daily life at New Haven Assisted Living? Click here now to schedule a digital tour.