For some families, the choice to move into an assisted living facility is easy.  Adults may make that choice at a younger age and able and choose a facility whose services can graduate with their needs potential medical conditions arise.  For others the decision to move can be much harder. Fear of the unknown, and misinformation about assisted living facilities can contribute to indecision.  There may come a time where caring for an elderly parent or sick spouse becomes impractical.  Stress related to these issues may indicate that it’s time to research and contact assisted living facilities in Oceanside, CA.  

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Moving a parent or loved one to an assisted living facility can come with obstacles, but these signs will help you recognize when the time is right:

  • Aggression – In some senior patients living with Alzheimer’s or dementia; physical, sexual or violent aggression happens commonly.  In this case, the caregiver(s) may begin feeling resentful or stressed. They may even begin to feel unsafe.  It is necessary to consider placement for the protection and well-being of both the caregiver and their loved one. Assisted living and memory care staff are trained and equipped for properly managing patients with aggressive tendencies.
  • Caregiver stress – It is very common for caregivers to experience feelings of stress. Personal health is just as dire as the well-being and safety of your loved one. Inconsistent diet, fatigue, weight loss, and irritability are all symptoms of caregiver stress. 
  • Escalating care needs – As your loved one ages or their medical condition worsens, responsibility may increase.  Too many tasks can be difficult to do on your own. Are there stairs to navigate? Do they have adequate lighting at night? Are they secure from wandering outside their home at night?  Do they have access to appliances or tools that could be unsafe for them without supervision? 
  • Sundowning – Many elderly patients, especially those living with dementia, can become very agitated or angry later in the day.  This takes a heavy toll on caregivers and can severely disrupt family routines.

It is common for caregivers to experience symptoms including avoidance behaviors, disabling anxiety, hyper-vigilance, intrusive thoughts, and more.  These symptoms are not only due to the pressures of caring for a senior, but are due to inconsistent eating and sleeping patterns caused by stress and overworking.  This will lead to a decline in your own health as well as a lower level of care for your loved one.  

So what should you do?

One of the best things that you can do is start the conversation early.  Talk about it in a positive light. Visit assisted living facilities and talk to the staff and residents.  Allow your loved one to be involved in the discussions and decision making process as much as possible. Speak to their doctors about recommendations. Information coming from a doctor can hold more merit.  Discussing options and resources with your loved one will help them maintain a feeling of autonomy.

Many assisted living facilities like Ocean Hills Senior Living in Oceanside, CA offer prospective residents evaluations to help determine which options would suit them best.  Visiting these communities to understand the many amenities and activities offered can increase positive feelings surrounding the transition. It can also be helpful if your loved one has been living on their own but will now be closer to you so that you can visit more often.  

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Assisted living communities like Ocean Hills Senior Living can also give you information on support available for caregivers and their families.  Counseling and support groups can help reassure you when times are difficult, Talking to someone who has similar experiences can help with navigation different scenarios and contribute feelings of hope.  

Remember that you can’t do everything. Trying to do everything is the surest way to exhaustion.  Sometimes the best decision for everyone is embracing assisted living and seeking placement in a facility like Ocean Hills Senior Living in Oceanside, CA.  The health and happiness of you and your loved one will benefit. While the transition may not be completely smooth, as change is almost always difficult, you will soon adjust to the new circumstances and be on a path to reduced stress and more balanced lifestyle.