Deciding to move an elderly loved one into an assisted living facility may be one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make. In fact, it is fairly common for children to promise themselves that they will never allow their parents to live in “a place like that.” No matter how sincere the intent of the statement, however, times change. None of us know for certain what the future may bring, and no one deserves to be so stressed out caring for an elderly loved one that we cannot care for ourselves. If you think it may be time to start considering an assisted living facility for your loved one, first ask yourself these questions and answer completely guilt-free.
1. Are you finding it difficult to continue actively caring for your loved one?
2. Do you feel emotionally drained or chronically tired?
3. Does your elder need rehabilitation or specialized supervision?
Caring for an aging parent or loved one is incredibly difficult. As an elderly person requires more and more care, the tired caregiver often scolds his or herself for not working harder and having more energy. At the same time, however, it can be almost impossible to offer the constant love and care that older family members need. These aging people can also make your job more difficult by being angry, demanding, or rude. If you’re so stressed out about caring for them that you feel angry, depressed, and anxious yourself, it may be time to admit that you need some help.
If you have been caring for an elderly loved one alone, burnout is possible. It is important to acknowledge the impact that caregiving is having on you and to get support and advice about available services. Discuss your situation with a friend or a support group for caregivers. You will receive the support you need and may come up with practical solutions to your elder’s specific situation. You can also find new ways to deal with your limitations.
When it’s time for your loved one to move into an assisted living facility, there are some things you can do to make the transition easier. Have your elder take his or her most cherished possessions along. Once settled in, encourage them to get involved in the various activities planned at the facility. A well-run facility will have a variety of activities. Perhaps you can attend with them at the beginning. Make sure to visit regularly and stay in contact.
Although this is a tough decision, oftentimes, it is the right decision. If you select the right facility, your loved one will be just fine.