Realizing it may be time for a loved one to move to an assisted living community is never easy for family members. Whether it’s a parent who has stopped taking care of themselves or a spouse whose condition has advanced beyond your ability to care for at home, you’re not only faced with the logistical challenges of finding the best care, but you also have to manage the emotional struggles that accompany a loved one’s dependency.
Often, family members have a hard time deciding whether their loved one truly needs full-time support. The difficulties that increase with age come on gradually, and we may not realize how significant a problem is until a crisis occurs.
“When a loved one experiences a significant injury or illness, requiring a hospital stay or surgery, the urgency to find professional care afterward increases,” says Heather Battey, Executive Director at amavida, a senior living community in Fort Myers, Florida. “Families may not have the financial preparations in place, or a loved one won’t be able to get into their community of choice. This causes stress and hardships for everyone. Of course, we cannot predict the future, but when we recognize the need for care early on – before an emergency forces our hand – we can give our loved ones the chance to prepare for the move and make the best decisions throughout the process.”
How to Know When the Time Is Right
Depending on your loved one’s current situation, you may have to consider various components about their health and well-being to determine if it’s time for assisted living. Everyone situation is unique; however, the amavida team has compiled five questions that families can ask in order to decide if their loved one needs greater care. Ask yourself the following:
- Is my loved one unsafe?
Is there a risk of your loved one harming themselves by falling in their home, driving into town or using kitchen appliances? Do you worry about your loved one being alone at night? Are you concerned about their vulnerability in the case of a severe emergency such as a fire or break in?
- Is my loved one’s health at risk?
Does your loved one experience limited mobility that makes it hard to take care of themselves? Are they getting proper nutrition? Do they have a health condition that is getting worse or requires daily medical treatments (such as injections or wound care)?
- Are my loved one’s needs beyond my abilities to care?
Is your loved one increasingly dependent on your for help with daily living activities, such as bathing, getting dressed or cooking a meal? Is their condition more advanced than you know how to care for? Does their care demand more time that you can provide, given your work or family life? Would your loved one have a better quality of life if they were receiving care from professionals at an Assisted Living facility?
- Is my attitude toward them changing for the worse?
Do you notice yourself becoming stressed, irritable or impatient when you’re with your loved one? Are you losing sleep or feeling depressed because of their condition and your responsibility to care for them? Are you neglecting self-care or other obligations in order to care for your loved one? Do you notice any of the signs of burnout: high blood pressure, anxiety, fatigue, worsening physical health?
- Is my loved one’s lifestyle severely limited at home?
Would the benefits of a community setting with Assisted Living outweigh the benefits of your loved one staying at home? Would they benefit from the social interactions, programs and dining services offered at a community? Do you think they would experience greater health and happiness under the supervision of professional caregivers and in the company of their peers?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s likely time to start considering Assisted Living for your loved one. These warning signs may not seem like much on their own, but as more and more emerge, your loved one’s quality of life can suffer. As difficult as it may be to think about moving your loved one out of their home and into a community, remember that the decision is made with their best interest at heart.
The Next Step: Finding the Right Community
If you’ve decided that it’s time to help your loved one find an assisted living community, the next step is to search for the right one. Depending on where you or your loved one lives, you may have many options to choose from. Be sure to do your research and weigh each option thoroughly in order to pick the best community for your loved one.
“As a continue care community, amavida offers comprehensive assisted living and Memory Care services, in addition to vibrant Independent Living lifestyles,” says Battey. “We help family members searching for assisted living options learn how to narrow down their choices by the services available, the community benefits and the overall environment of the community. At amavida, we provide an unparalleled lifestyle that ensures residents experience the best quality of life, community engagement and sense of fulfillment, even – and especially – if they require daily support and assistance.”
If you need help deciding if it’s time for your loved one to receive care at an assisted living community, or you don’t know where to start your search, reach out to the amavida team. Our years of senior living experience can help you understand the different services available and get started on making the best arrangements for your loved one.
Keep moving forward. Call us today at 877.969.0712 to learn more about the community that’s changing the status quo of senior living.