Get help with this tough decision
Moving to assisted living is a huge, difficult, and often heart-wrenching decision for caregivers. Guilt, promises made, and feelings of obligation make it even harder.
Because there are so many emotions involved, it can be tough to know when a move is really needed – especially when you’re trying to put off having to make that tough decision for as long as possible.
But sometimes, caring for someone at home becomes unsafe or impossible to sustain.
To make the decision a little easier, we share 5 ways to know when it’s necessary for your older adult to move to assisted living.
5 ways to know if moving to assisted living is needed
1. Your older adult behaves aggressively
Some older adults, often those with dementia, may behave aggressively or violently.
If trying different ways to reduce this behavior or medication don’t help, it puts you and the person themselves in danger of getting seriously injured. It also adds a lot of additional emotional stress to an already stressful situation.
2. Their care needs have become too high for safe home care
Over the years, most older adults will decline in health and ability. Unfortunately, no matter how high the quality of care, aging and serious diseases will keep progressing.
One day, your older adult’s care needs may become more than you can safely handle at home.
For example, if someone now needs constant supervision and care (including waking many times at night), moving to assisted living may be needed. It’s very difficult for one or two people to sustain that intensity of care over the long term.
Or, if your older adult is significantly larger or heavier and develops mobility issues, it will become physically impossible or dangerous for you to help them move around.
3. They constantly try to leave the house and are at high risk for getting lost or injured
Many people with dementia want to walk around or have the idea to go to specific places.
Unfortunately, the damage in their brain means they typically don’t know how to get places, how to get back home, and how to avoid accidents or injury.
People with dementia can often get outside the house in the blink of an eye – or in the time it takes for you to use the restroom or get them a glass of water.
If you’ve secured the house as much as possible, but they’re still able to get out, it may be time to move them to a fully secured memory care community for their own safety.
4. In-home care costs are too high
Hiring an in-home caregiver is expensive. As older adults need more care, they’ll need more and more help. Over time, the cost of hiring caregiving help can exceed the available financial resources.
When that happens, it may be financially necessary to move to an assisted living community. Those costs are high as well, but it may be more affordable than the amount of in-home care that’s needed.
5. You’re overwhelmed by chronic, severe caregiver stress
Feeling caregiver stress is to be expected, but when stress levels are too high for too long, it seriously affects your health and well-being.
When that happens, your ability to care for your older adult can be significantly diminished – sometimes to the point where you’re no longer able to safely care for them.
Recommended for you:
- 3 Reasons to Stop Feeling Guilty About Putting Mom in Assisted Living
- When Should a Senior Move to Assisted Living? Get Advice from a Social Worker
- Handy Checklist and Tips on How to Find a Good Assisted Living Facility
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Lake Martin Wave