Caring for Caregivers: 5 Signs It Might Be Time for Assisted Living

If someone is caring for your loved one at home – maybe a professional caregiver, a friend, a spouse or even one of your siblings – it’s important to take into account the risks and challenges that caregiving can present. It can often be hard to notice when a loved one has escalating care needs, especially when they live with a caregiver, and when it’s time for assisted living.

The conversation to help an aging loved one move out of their current home and into a senior living community is complex, both emotionally and practically.

Regular conversations concerning your loved one’s future can help mitigate the shock of a rapid transition. It often takes elderly parents a while to get used to the idea of moving to senior living.

Here are some telltale signs that families and caregivers can look for in order to recognize when it’s time to seriously consider a transition into senior living:

  1. Sundowning: “Sundowner Syndrome,” sometimes referred to as “Late-Day Confusion,” results in agitated behavior that becomes more pronounced as the day progresses. Sundowning can take a heavy toll on caregivers. When it begins to severely disrupt family routines, it may be a sign that the caregiving burden is too much to handle.
  2. Aggression: Aggression is not always a sign of Alzheimer’s, but verbal, physical and even sexual aggression may frequently occur in those with dementia. For families and caregivers, aggression can cause suffering and sometimes resentment.
  3. Wandering: For seniors in the later stages of dementia, wandering poses a significant threat to safety as the likelihood of falls and injuries increases.
  4. Home Safety Issues: Be honest, and ask yourself questions about your elderly loved one’s health and their caregiver’s abilities to care for them.
  5. Caregiver Stress: Increasing stress on the caregiver can be just as telling a sign as the dementia behaviors described above. Caregivers often experience symptoms such as intrusive thoughts, disabling anxiety, hyper-vigilance or avoidance behaviors when the toll of caregiving approaches its limits.

Having “The Conversation”

When it comes to moving elderly parents and introducing the ‘nursing home,’ or assisted living conversation, experts say it can be the most difficult parent-child conversation. Many families find that their elderly loved ones have unrealistic expectations surrounding ability to care for themselves.

Most families find that the best way to approach the situation is to begin exploring care options early, and discuss the possibility of a future transition with their loved one before any accidents that would prompt a rapid transition.

Research shows that senior living communities foster a much more active lifestyle than in-home care. Even the process of dressing and going to meals is stimulating and most senior living communities offer activities geared toward seniors. Yes, in many cases, it is better than staying home.

On LivingPath.com, you can explore care options in your area and compare prices, get in touch with communities, book tours and more!  Start your journey today and discover the perfect long-term care solution for your loved one.

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LivingPath Team

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