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When Is It Time For Assisted Living?

It is time for assisted living when seniors show aggression, have sundowners, aren’t safe alone, care needs increase, or when their caregivers are becoming overwhelmed.


Making the decision to move a loved one to assisted living isn’t an easy decision.

There are signs and symptoms to watch for both in the senior and their caregivers.

We will help you understand more clearly the things to watch for to know when it’s time.


When Is It Time For Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a solution for families and seniors for when care needs exceed what can reasonable be given in the home.  Caregivers compassionately give of themselves and their time to care for the seniors they love.  Knowing when to admit the burden has become too great and avoid becoming ill from the stress is a hard and personal decision.

Care Needs Increase

Most seniors can use a little help with the heavy lifting.  But there comes a point where they need help more than their loved one’s can provide.  If you’re started to wonder if the senior’s safety is at risk or the people caring for them are burning out, it might be time to discuss a move to assisted living.

Senior Wandering

Humans are curious explorers and this doesn’t stop when someone gets dementia.  The problem comes when they aren’t sure where they are and become lost.  They can also fall and get injured while wandering.  This can happen in the blink of an eye while you change the laundry or use the restroom.

Aggressive Behavior

One of the most obvious signs is when a senior becomes physically or violently aggressive.  Family or caregivers may start to feel hurt, offended, and start to resent the senior when they experience this aggression.  This is a clear sign that the senior needs to be considered for assisted living.

Experiencing Sundowners

Sundowners is described as a senior who experiences behavior that’s very aggressive later in the day.  It is a common component of dementia.  When seniors begin responding or acting aggressively later in the day it can be very hard on caregivers.  This can push the needs of the senior past what family can provide.

No Longer Safe Alone

Seniors with dementia are forgetful by definition.  That means they may start cooking and turn on the stove or oven and forget about it.  This obviously can start a fire and be very dangerous.  Other ways seniors become unsafe is if they can’t navigate the home safely with stairs, they forget to take medications, or they are unable to drive safely.

Caregiver Burnout

The people who care for seniors whether it be family or paid caregivers can reach a breaking point with strain.  If the senior’s needs or aggression becomes too high it can be bad for the caregiver.  When caregivers are showing signs of strain like depression, loss of interest, or other common signs of stress it’s important to realize that the senior may be better cared for in an assisted living community.

Caregiver Stress Signs

Caregivers need to be observed nearly as much as seniors with dementia.  There are some common and disturbing symptoms of caregiver stress.  These include thoughts that won’t go away, avoiding people or experiences, hypervigilance, and anxiety that disturbs their life.

Causes of Caregiver Stress

Clearly caring for someone with dementia takes dedication and effort.  In addition to these pressures normal sleeping and eating patterns are disturbed for caregivers. When a person is constantly focused on caregiving and needs to be alert it affects a person physically.

When Caregiving Hurts

In the case where the caregiver is an adult child or especially when it’s a spouse of similar age the emotional, mental, and physical demands can easily become too much.  If a senior falls in the shower and the caregiver is unable to help them, it is a clear sign that assisted living is a better and safer choice.  Not only for the senior but also for those who are striving to care for them and suffering from it.

Caring For The Caregiver

While it’s obvious the senior needs care the caregiver is often overlooked.  With seniors near constant need for care of one kind or another it’s all too easy to neglect caring for oneself as the caregiver.  It is of paramount importance for the caregiver to stay healthy.  It enables them to live better and care for the senior better.

Take A Break

If it’s become clear as a caregiver that you’re burning out, take a break.  Have other family members come and see to the needs of the senior.  Another option is to organize a short stay in a care facility.  Either way will give the caregiver time to see to their own needs such as mental health.  Some caregivers benefit greatly from individual therapy and/or support groups.

Plan For Assisted Living Early

One of the best things a senior and their family can do is prepare a plan for when the move to assisted living should occur.  This relieves the caregiver of the burden of making this decision.  When early signs of dementia are clear it is a perfect time to have this conversation.  Make selections about which assisted living community is best.  Have all of the paperwork done.  It will be much easier to make this transition with a plan in place and the paperwork already done.

Arizona Assisted Living Communities

If you live in or want to retire to Arizona, you’re not alone.  With year round sun and mild winters Arizona is the perfect place to choose assisted living. SLS Communities offers Assisted Living Services at multiple locations near the Phoenix Valley and Sedona, AZ.  We proudly provide the very best of assisted living with compassionate care, chef prepared meals, and apartment style living.  Learn more about why so many seniors call an SLS Community home.

Call 480-348-0300 or Contact Us

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