What are the common signs if it’s time to move a loved one into assisted living?
- Showing frequent uncontrollable aggression
- Frequent falling that may lead to serious injuries
- Health care needs are escalating and caregiving isn’t sufficient anymore
- Disrupting occurrences of sundowner’s syndrome
- Inability to manage daily activities
There are plenty of dementia caregivers in Chicago, but there are still people who insist on keeping their elderly loved one under their wing. Doing this means devoting their time and energy on taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.
With that said, it’s no surprise that family members taking on this task constantly question their efficiency as caregivers to the elderly. For some, this is nothing but a passing thought so they don’t really make any changes and continue taking care of their loved ones. For others, it’s time to seriously consider better alternatives.
Ask yourself: Are you able to give the needs of your loved one? Can you ensure his/her safety? Are you able to understand his/her needs? These questions may seem simple, but these are already considerations on whether or not it is time to move your loved one to an assisted living – a long-term senior care service that provides necessary personal care support services which includes bathing, dressing, and medication management.
To help you come up with a decision, here’s a few signs that you can look into and consider if your loved one needs assisted living or not.
Dementia patients may show aggression during unexpected situations such as eating or bathing. While this might eventually be considered ‘normal’, the frequency should be considered. If the patient becomes frequently aggressive – whether it be violent, sexual, or physical – this might be a calling for professional assistance.
Falling is one of the serious issues for elderlies suffering from Alzheimer’s or other dementia, as this may lead to serious and even fatal injuries. No one can maintain a 24-hour monitoring on a patient; hence, these falling circumstances may be one considerable reason for an assisted living.
Escalating Health Care Needs
While some signs may appear as simple, this one is as complicated as things may get. Is your loved one seemingly gaining or losing weight? Does he/she look frail compared to his/her bright, lively appearance a few weeks back? Given that the person is already suffering from memory loss, there may be times that it can’t address ailments such as flu or cold that may lead to a more serious condition.
Occurrences of Sundowner’s Syndrome
Sundowning is a behavior observed usually but not exclusively in patients with Alzheimer’s, wherein they act differently after sundown. Symptoms include being confused and disoriented, irritable, restless, or agitated than usual. Sundowning may also occur with older people without dementia. It’s a heavy burden for the caregivers when it becomes severe, more so if it is already disrupting family routines.
Inability to Manage Daily Activities
Experts refer to these as activities of daily living (ADLs) but you may know these as dressing, toileting, feeding, bathing, walking, and other self-care tasks that people learn from childhood. The same goes for instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), which you may know as handling transportation, finance management, preparing meals, shopping, managing medications, and other complex skills that people learn from their teenage years to live independently.
Inability to manage these activities becomes noticeable in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or other dementias. While it may seem doable for family caregivers, it’s one of the main reasons for moving a patient into an assisted living, most especially when the caregivers are also working or have other people to take care of.
Moving a loved one to assisted living may be one of the most crucial, heart-wrenching decision-making a family has to make. Given the difficulties in the present and that may come in the future, it may be best to put them into the hands of those people who can offer ensured care, security, and company so the patient is able to live safely, with dignity, and happily.