When is the Right Time for a Senior Citizen Home?
Transferring an aging loved one to a senior citizen home is an imposing task for many families across the country. The decision to help an elderly family member move out of their current home is a very complex decision. It’s not a decision that can be easily made over coffee. Most of the time, it takes weeks or even months before finally concluding that it’s the right time for an elderly member of the family to start living in an assisted environment.
Perhaps we can make things easier if we only knew the right time for a loved one to move to a senior citizen home. Although every family has a unique situation, the following signs are strong indicators that it’s the right time to move to an assisted living community.
Caregiver’s Physical, Mental and Emotional Stress
This is one of the main things to look out for. Many caregivers say that they won’t ever consider leaving their parent or loved one in a senior citizen home. Yes, that sounds good and noble but it can have dire consequences.
The feelings, emotions, and the stress levels involved in care giving could greatly affect your ability to care for your parent or loved one. Keeping a senior citizen at home will need more and more handson attention and keen vigilance as time passes by, especially if they have some kind of a chronic disease. This will start to consume a lot of your own time and you might start feeling resentful towards the patient. When your loved one’s need for care is starting to wear you out, it’s time for you to consider transferring them to a senior citizen home where there is enough assistance and round the clock safety allocated for elderly residents. This way, you’ll not only free yourself from care giving, you’ll also be able to give your elderly loved one a better environment and care.
This is another indication that your loved one may really need to move on to an assisted living community. If you and your loved one live in separate houses, then the physical signs can be hardly noticeable at all, and if that’s the case, it’s best to give him or her a big hug and you’ll surely notice that there is indeed something different with them physically than what you’re used to. In addition to that, the following signs can also be easily noticeable:
- Weight loss or weight gain can be caused by a lot of different factors ranging from depression, dementia, or diabetes to the more dreaded cancer. If you notice that he or she feels thinner than usual when you touch or hug him or her, or if he or she had a noticeable weight gain, then there may be something wrong. And if your loved one is living alone, then it me be that his or her ability to cook, eat or shop is impaired due to a mental condition. If you suspect that it’s the case, check the fridge and see how well his or her mealprep skills are.
- Strange body odor, change in appearance and frailty are among other physical signs to look for. A close hug can easily reveal changes in personal hygiene and body stature. Odor can be a result of memory lossinducing ailment like Alzheimer’s.
Aside from physical signs, there are also behavioral signs that will help you determine that it’s time to move your loved one to a senior citizen home for an assisted living. In fact, behavioral changes will introduce a heavier impact to the family members especially to the caregiver as it can introduce higher levels of stress and fatigue. This, combined with the physical signs can really be a great burden to carry. Here are some of the behavioral signs that will let you determine that it is, in fact, the right time to consider an assisted living facility.
- Aggression frequently happens to those with dementia. Family members and the caregiver will begin to suffer or start to feel resentment towards the patient. When you start getting into this phase, it’s a good idea to consider getting a nursing facility for your loved one, which can help not only you but also the patient by giving them a safer and well monitored environment to live.
- Sundown Syndrome is a characteristic commonly found in those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Generally, this kind of behavior is characterized by the onset of confusion and agitation that manifests during sunset. This will take a heavy toll on caregivers, especially when it starts to disrupt regular family routine, which you’ll seriously need to start considering placement.
- Wandering is another symptom of dementia and in later stages of the illness, this threat becomes much greater. They can even wander even if you just leave them for a while for a short bathroom break.
Aside from those severe behavioral changes, you should also observe other minor ones like forgetfulness, childish behaviors and the like. These changes will help you determine that it’s the right time to move them to a senior citizen home, giving you freedom and providing your loved one a better place to stay.