Moving elderly loved ones or parents into an assisted living facility can be difficult and harrowing. No one wants to be forced to make a decision, but for some elderly relatives in declining health, there are signs that moving into an assisted living situation can no longer be avoided or even delayed.
It’s especially hard when elderly parents, people who have been strong and able all their lives, begin to exhibit signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Listed below are some signs to watch for that may indicate that it’s time to find a new home away from home.
Declining Health with Dementia
With many dementia patients, a significant and rapid decline in their overall health is the first indicator they may need to be placed in an assisted living facility. These places have full-time medical staff on site and can provide the necessary care and medications when they are needed.
Some elderly patients, especially those suffering from dementia, may become physically or sexually violent, especially with their caregivers. This makes for a dangerous situation for the entire family. If your loved one is lashing out physically, it may be time to consider moving them into a care facility.
A Tendency to Wander
Dementia patients and Alzheimer’s patients should not be left completely to their own devices because they can wander away, forget where they were going, and get themselves lost or even worse.
Elderly dementia patients are more prone to automobile accidents and accidental drowning because no one is watching them. Though many elderly relatives may not want to give up their freedom, it may be in their best interest and health to place them in a full-time care facility.
Sundowner’s Syndrome often occurs toward the end of the day, and it can be especially stressful for caregivers of dementia patients. As elderly patients become more tired by day’s end, they can also become more aggressive, angry, and sometimes violent.
Assisted living facilities are staffed with people who can properly care for patients who begin to experience this, and are able to take care of them quickly and safely.
Poor Diet and Nutrition
With failing memory and the onset of dementia, many elderly people may literally forget to eat or may claim they do not feel hungry or thirsty. This can be especially wearing on a family caregiver because they want what is best for their loved one, even if that person refuses to eat or drink. This is a sign that they need to be moved into a care facility, if nothing else to keep caregiver stress and caregiver burn-out at bay.
Caregiver Stress and Burn-out
No matter how much you love and try to care for your parent or loved one, everyone needs a little break from time to time with their caregiver role. When you are caring for an elderly parent or relative more than you are your own needs or even your own family that is a sign that an assisted living facility may be necessary.
Steps to Take When Your Loved One Needs Assisted Living
If you can, you must first try discussing this with your loved one. Regardless of whether or not you manage to get through to them, you must make the necessary arrangements. This starts with checking out various facilities to find one that is best suited for your loved one.