If you have been the primary caregiver of an elderly parent, it can be hard to realize that your parent might benefit from living in an assisted living facility instead of your home. However, if you notice the following signs, it might be time to start considering such a facility for your parent.
Your Parent Wanders
Some seniors with Alzheimer's disease or other kinds of dementia begin to wander out of their home and into their neighborhoods. This can be a very scary experience for caregivers, as they may not notice their parent slipping out of the house and have a hard time finding them. If your parent has started to do this, for their own safety it might be time to think about moving into an assisted living facility.
Their Care is Becoming Challenging
As your parent continues to age, they may need more medications and medical treatments. For instance, you may feel ill-equipped to handle the responsibility of suctioning and cleaning a tracheotomy or administering a gastrointestinal feeding. You may have a hard time moving them in and out of a wheelchair by yourself. Having your parent in a facility where medical professionals can handle escalating care needs may make you feel better about the care your parent receives on a daily basis.
You might also consider a different kind of care for your parent if they have dementia and start experiencing so-called "sundowners syndrome", where they become more agitated in the evening and night hours. This can be particularly challenging because they may get out of bed and start doing things that keep both of you awake all night. An assisted living facility has policies in place to handle this and has medical staff present at all hours of the day so that your parent can be cared for during times of sundowning.
You are Becoming Burnt Out
You may be reluctant to admit it, but being a primary caregiver can be difficult. Over time, you might start feeling stressed and tired on a regular basis. You may no longer have the freedom to come and go as you please, and you may not get a chance to do many of the things you want to do. Moving your parent to a well-staffed facility may alleviate a good deal of stress from your life.
If you are experiencing any of the things above, it might be a good time for you to start thinking about an assisted living facility for your elderly parent. Visit a few facilities in the area to determine which might be a good fit.