A question we often hear is: ‘how do I know when it is time for our loved one to go into an assisted care facility?’ This is a difficult question to ask but there are a few well defined indicators for you to keep an eye out for when trying to decide the right time to make the transition. Remember that when your loved one needs more care than you can provide, then it is time to consider assisted care.
Some of the key points to help you know when it is time to consider assisted care are:
- Wandering: This can be a major worry for you and a great source of danger for your loved one. Your loved one may be used to walking to the local store or park and they may still believe they are capable of it. Unfortunately, if they are no longer able to do these things on their own, they may stray into traffic or get lost in what was once a familiar neighborhood. If you find that you can no longer trust them to stay at home alone, then it may be time to consider the more secure environment an assisted care facility can provide.
- Home Safety Issues: Is your loved one getting forgetful and leaving the gas stove burning? Or worse, maybe they have switched on the gas and forgotten to light it. Other safety issues include stairs or maybe even just those few steps into the kitchen. If a loved one takes a fall when they’re alone the consequences could be serious. Home security can also be an issue, as you want to ensure that your loved one is safe while alone in their own home. If you’re having concerns about their safety when home alone, it may be time to consider the added security an assisted living facility can provide.
- Escalating Care Needs: As your loved one gets older, their care needs can increase as well. They may need regular, more constant care. Some of the things they made need help with are taking their medication regularly and correctly, performing personal hygiene tasks, and even preparing healthy meals and eating regularly. These tasks may need daily supervision to ensure they get taken care of properly. If your loved one is starting to require more regular daily supervision, it may be time to consider an assisted care facility, where your loved one can maintain their independence, but also have a bit more supervision throughout the day.
- Rising Stress Levels: Caregiver stress can be a real problem. The constant worry of caring for your loved one is a difficult burden to carry, and the stress may begin to affect your health as well as the overall wellbeing of your family. An assisted care facility can help take some of the pressure off of you by providing your loved one and you with additional support and supervision, freeing you and your family up to spend time enjoying your loved one, rather than worrying about making sure they get the right care.
These are just some of the many indicators to look at when considering if it is time to place your loved one in a care facility. Stepping back and taking an objective look at the situation can help you better understand the needs your loved one has and whether an assisted living facility is the right choice for them, and for you. We are always available to sit down with you and help you assess your specific situation to determine the best solution.