This might be the hardest question you have to ask. Whether it is for your parent or you, it is not an easy question to answer. Everyone has a different answer. There is not one path anyone takes to Heritage Creek. You will have to decide how you want to spend the rest of your life.
What is important is how you respond. You can prepare by knowing what to look for. Knowing what the signs are and knowing how to move forward are the most important steps you can take.
Start the Conversation
If you or someone close to you qualifies as a legal senior citizen, it is time to start talking about options. Even if end-of-life situations come up twenty years down the road, you will still have the answers in your back pocket. By starting the conversation now instead of later, you will have the peace of mind to know what to do.
Starting the conversation is hard. It acknowledges the human condition and the fact that things are not the same as they were once. This conversation does not have to be fraught with negativity. Instead, pepper in the topic over time. The more familiar a person is with the assisted living lifestyle, the easier the question may be to broach.
When you ask a person if they need assisted living, it is so important to make them feel like an active person in the conversation. Too often, we treat those who sign up for assisted living as something other than people. Make them feel listened to and understood. Make them feel legitimate.
Know Your Own Limits
If you are acting as a caregiver to someone you think may need assisted living, know your limits. If assisted living is an option, this may mean you are nearing the end of your rope when caring for someone. Assisted living is designed to give a person their independence back and give any additional caregivers a chance at their life again.
Too often, caregivers allow their situations to dictate their emotions. This can make them stressed, burned out, and very tense. Emotionally, it can wreck a person, which could affect all of the relationships in your life. This could include your relationship with the person you give care.
Know when you have to push the idea. Also, phrase the conversation in terms of your personal responsibility. It can be easy to say, “You need to be in assisted living.” Placing the responsibility on the shoulders of someone else will not take care of the situation, even if it is their responsibility. While the choice of assisted living falls on the shoulders of the one being cared for, it can be difficult to change the thinking.
Take the emotional responsibility on yourself. Phrases such as, “I’m worried about you. I want to make sure you’re okay.” This shows your emotional state and how you genuinely want what is best for them. It is important to indicate that you are both on the same team. By showing the emotional toll, you can help inform a reticent parent to make the right decision.
Look for Signs
Sometimes, the one needing care does not know they need care. They may have lost certain faculties that would have allowed them to make decisions. Before this occurs, you need to look for the right signs. This can help you make the needed decisions when it comes time to.
Lack of friends
Assisted living is not entirely for people who are without the ability to care for themselves. It can also be a community for senior citizens that need some interaction. If you or someone you know needs to be in a community of like-minded individuals, an assisted living facility may be your ticket.
This is a condition where those affected by dementia or similar conditions may become agitated closer to the end of the day. It can be taxing for caregivers and those affected. An assisted living facility will be prepped to deal with sudden emotional outbursts associated with sundowning.
If you noticed your loved one (or even yourself) getting lost within familiar areas, it might be time to consider assisted living. At the very least, begin the discussion when it is repeatedly happening. Assisted living will have the tools necessary to keep those affected by dealing with their confusion.
General safety issues
Safety can become an issue as a person grows older. These concerns may be created in response to medical dangers or simple dangers around the home. It does not even have to be created due to outside conditions, but sometimes from later-life depression. If safety issues arise and you are concerned, contact an assisted living facility like Heritage Creek.
Your own stress levels
You matter. Your caregiving situation can be stressful. You can lose your feelings in it. Don’t let your wants and desires go to the wayside. Assisted living can help you actualize your feelings by giving you some semblance of your life back. It really can help.