When is It Time for Assisted Living Care?

Over 15 million people in the US devote their energy and time to caring for a loved one who can no longer care for themselves. Oftentimes, this burden ends up being too much for the caregiver to bear without them suffering from illness or stress themselves. This is when it’s time to consider assisted living care.

Signs that It May be Time for Assisted Living Care

These are some of the telltale signs that your loved one may need residential care at an assisted living home:

  1. Aggressiveness – Sexual, physical and verbal aggression frequently occur when a person is suffering from dementia. This can cause family members and caregivers to suffer, and maybe even become resentful. When it gets to this point, residential placement may be in order.
  2. Wandering – If your loved one has dementia or has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, wandering may soon become an issue. The scary part is that it can occur so quickly… during the time it takes you to go to the bathroom. Wandering increases the chances of injuries and falls. Your loved one can also become a victim of some sort, as well.
  3. Issues with Home Safety – Do you feel comfortable leaving your loved one at home alone for any amount of time? As the need for assisted living increases, things like falling asleep while cooking, leaving water running until it overflows, etc… start to become issues. Even the caregiver has to take a break sometimes. Will your loved one be safe at home during those times?
  4. Sundowner Syndrome – This is nervous, restless and stressed behavior that tends to get worse later in the day. This syndrome is very common with people who have Alzheimer’s. It can disrupt normal daily routines and family gatherings. The behavior can also take a heavy toll on caregivers, making it almost impossible to handle the loved one.
  5. Escalation in Care Needs – Is your loved one’s health at risk? Is the person’s behavior becoming so uncontrollable that it’s putting the caregiver’s health at risk? Are the caregiving needs becoming more than you or the caregiver can physically handle? If so, it’s really time to talk with your family about assisted living care.
  6. Caregiver Stress – Watch out for signs that the caregiver has become so stressed out about the situation that he/she starts neglecting his/her own needs or is getting ill. When this happens, it’s time to make a change… quickly.

I Can’t Do It on My Own Anymore

Just thinking about choosing to place your loved one in a residential care facility can stress you out. This decision can cause you grief and guilt, which is quite common. That’s why experts agree that it’s very important to plan it out ahead of time.

If your loved one is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia, the time to get their paperwork in order is now. Talk to your loved one about in-home care and assisted living options while they’re still “here” mentally. That way, they can help you choose the best option for them. And, if you decide to go with assisted living care, you’ll know the type of place they prefer, based on staff, patients, medical support and activities provided. Don’t wait until the move becomes urgent. Start visiting local residential care facilities today.

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