Ideally, people never need to place their families in Alzheimer’s assisted living. In fact, ideally, no one in your family gets Alzheimer’s disease. It is difficult to watch your family member’s health deteriorate and more painful still to decide to place them in a nursing facility. Dementia might affect the ability to remember you or key events, which can feel heartbreaking.
If you have been caring for a loved one for some time, you might begin to wonder what signs to look for to know it is time to accept professional help. At Rocky Mountain Assisted Living, we understand your hesitance and recommend contemplating the following considerations.
Of adults 50 years old and over, three out of four would prefer to age in place. Many communities have sprung up to meet this need, but adults still live independent lives. Unfortunately, because of the effects of Alzheimer’s, the person might soon become unable to care for themselves. You might feel especially worried about night-time wandering and the potential for falls.
Even with professionals visiting the home, dedicated facilities are better equipped. If your loved one has begun to show signs of Alzheimer’s, or the disease has progressed and you worry from a distance, it might be time to move the individual into a new home.
Confusion and restlessness are two symptoms of dementia that can lead to wandering. In the best-case scenario, the person does not wander far from the home. In worst-case situations, the person wanders out into dangerous circumstances that can lead to injury or even death.
For instance, your loved one might go out into the streets and get lost. Wandering still occurs in assisted living facilities, but there is much stricter monitoring. Cameras are also often mounted in public use areas, making it easier to track where seniors go.
If your loved one begins to struggle to make their way around the house, the likelihood of an accident increases. Decreased agility is a natural part of growing older, but as people progress further into Alzheimer’s disease, patients struggle with mobility issues more than usual.
If you are also a senior caring for another older person, your own decreased agility might make it more difficult to tend to the individual. An assisted living facility and its staff are far better prepared to take on these tasks.
Unless you are a health professional, keeping up with medications can prove difficult. As seniors age, physicians prescribe more medication to manage chronic illnesses that might develop. Doctors must give careful consideration to not just the side effects of each medication but also how they interact together.
Because of this, one mistake when administering medication can have dire consequences. Over time, this pressure for perfection can become unbearable.
Caring for someone struggling with Alzheimer’s disease might become difficult for more than physical reasons. You might begin to question your ability to care for the person sufficiently and stress about how you will continue. The cost of at-home care also spirals over time and might not get covered by Medicaid or other options, especially when family members provide care instead of professionals.
All of these factors compound to create a situation that might begin to negatively affect your mental health. Other family members might also begin to worry about your emotional well-being and your ability to continue.
Many people dislike the idea of allowing loved ones to live in assisted living facilities. Family members themselves might have made several requests not to be moved to a nursing facility. This may have led to promises never to make this decision. It is noble to keep the commitments we make in life, but kept promises do not guarantee good results.
Sometimes, it becomes necessary to break that pledge to ensure individuals get the best possible care. If you find yourself constantly trying to remember that you made such a promise, you are probably nearing the point to let go and make an objective decision.
Have you driven by Rocky Mountain Assisted Living or other facilities a few times just to see what they look like? Have you visited with a friend in a nursing home to see them but also to get a feel for their living arrangements? What about asking friends with parents and grandparents in facilities about how well they are treated? These are all signs that you might be ready to make a big decision.
Before you do, we invite you to take a tour of our facilities. Bring other close relatives along who might wish to see how the family member would spend the days there. Not ready to schedule a tour, but you’re brimming with questions? That’s okay too. Give us a call at 303-671-5251.