For some people, moving to a retirement community is a life propeller. For others, their home is what anchors them to life. However, how long can you be what your aged parents need? Caregivers often find themselves unable to bear the burden of providing home health care without suffering from illness themselves.
This is when it may be time to consider getting professional help when their health needs become too much to handle at home.
There are, however, some telltale signs that caregivers can look for in order to recognize when it’s the right time for assistance:
Aggression: Physical, sexual or violent aggression frequently happen in those with dementia, and caregivers or other family members may suffer or begin to feel resentful. “I tell people when they’re getting to that state, it’s time to start considering placement,” says Vasquez.
Caregiver Stress: Caregiver symptoms like increased stress can be just as telling a sign as the dementia behaviors described above.
Home Safety: Consider your senior family member’s health and your own abilities to care for them. Is the person with dementia unsafe in their current home?
Wandering: In later stages of dementia, the risk posed by wandering becomes much greater, notes Vasquez. “They can wander even if you just take the time to go to the bathroom,” she says, and the probability of falls and injuries increases.
The emotional, mental and physical toll of caregiving can be particularly pronounced for spouses of those who need care. If you are feeling isolated and alone, or if you begin to feel resentful of your loved one, it might be time to think about home care.
Caregivers may wonder if they could or should have done more; they may feel separation anxiety in relying on someone else to help their loved one. If family dynamics are difficult — if, for instance, a caregiver caring for a parent had an unhappy childhood — that may further complicate the decision process. This is why planning ahead is so important.
The best way to be there for them, Vasquez says, is to know that they are in the proper place for getting the care that they need. Interview care providers before choosing one, and make sure they have activities and medical support appropriate to dementia patients.
Arranging a short visit is one way to get some time to rest and recuperate, especially if you are caring for someone at home. Taking care of your mental health is also critical, and there are many benefits to seeking out a circle of support to bolster you when times are difficult.
These resources can help you come to terms with the idea that sometimes the best decision for the health and happiness of both parties is getting additional care for your loved one.
If you have any concerns or would like some help living more comfortably at home or booking an in home visit, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-866-982-2737 and speak with some about setting up an at home care assessment today.