A complicated list of emotions often plagues family caregivers who provide In-Home Care to Seniors in Anchorage Alaska. Guilt is often one of the prevailing emotions, and it is the least beneficial of all. In addition to cutting into the time and energy that is usually already exhausted, guilt can inhibit your ability to make the best decisions for your senior loved one regarding their ongoing care. In many cases, this decision orbits around when and if you should hand your loved one’s care over to a skilled professional, rather than continue to carry the full weight of in-home care responsibilities on your own.
For many family caregivers, one of the biggest challenges associated with deciding to transition your loved one to an assisted living community like Baxter Senior Living in Anchorage, Alaska, is permitting yourself to be OKAY with the decision. In this article, we have provided a few reasons why moving a senior loved one into an assisted living community may be the best choice. We have also provided a list of ways to help cope with and reduce feelings of caregiver guilt.
Moving to a Senior Living Community May Be Best
Staff at assisted living and senior living communities are trained in specific skills necessary to care for your loved one. Unless you are a nurse or other medical professional, you are likely to have not been trained in how to best provide medical care to your aging loved one. Those who work in senior living communities have undergone extensive training to ensure the long-term health and safety of those they care for.
Self-Care is Essential for Your Mental Health
If you are not taking the time to care for yourself, the care you provide to your loved one will suffer. If you are sick or under excessive pressure and stress all the time, you will not be able to be present for your loved one and provide the level of care they need. To be there for your senior loved one, you need to care for your mental and physical health.
Share Care Responsibilities
When providing In-Home Care to Seniors in Anchorage Alaska, care responsibilities likely fall squarely on your shoulders alone. At a senior living community, care needs are shared among staff members, so no one individual is overwhelmed with care obligations. If you have been managing full-time care obligations on your own, you have likely realized that shouldering the entire burden is unrealistic, and it has become difficult (or impossible) to balance your needs and the needs of your loved one at the same time. Alaskan senior living communities like Baxter Senior Living have several staff members who work in different shifts, which allows the work to be shared among many people.
Access to Medical Professionals
Recognizing changes in your senior loved one’s health, and knowing how to address them is not easy for those without medical training. Senior living communities generally have doctors or nurses on staff, meaning your parent or loved one will have access to someone with extensive medical knowledge regularly. This helps enhance their safety and well-being.
Resources and Social Options
Despite best efforts and best intentions, it is unlikely a solo in-home caregiver can provide the same level of resources and social options available at an assisted living community. As seniors age, it often becomes increasingly difficult for them to stay social, and this increased social isolation can lead to depression and fading help. One of the most significant benefits of a senior living community is easy access to a larger social circle.
Alaskan senior living communities also schedule regular activities both within the community and “field trips” to places such as dinner shows, shopping, and the theater. All of these opportunities for socialization afford your senior loved one the chance to remain active without putting additional stress on your shoulders as a solo caregiver.
Minimize Feelings of Guilt
Feelings of guilt about passing care obligations for your senior loved one on to someone else are normal. Despite all of the positive and logical reasons why professional care at a senior living community may be best for your loved one, it is still difficult to feel as though you are “abandoning” your loved one in their time of need. Below are a few steps you can take to help you work through these feelings.
Do Your Research
Take the time to research senior living communities around you to find the best senior living community for your loved one. Visit the ones that may be the best fit for your parent or loved one and spend time talking to the people who work there and the residents who live there. This will help you learn whether your chosen facility is the place where your parents or loved one will blend well with the other residents. With this knowledge under your belt, you could help them transition into a senior living community with more confidence that you are making the right decision for them.
Help Make Their New Home “Theirs”
A room or apartment at any senior living community will most certainly feel different than your loved one’s home. However, you can still help them find ways to make it more comfortable and more homelike. Help your senior loved one pick out decorations, family photographs, or mementos to help their new place feel more like their own. Perhaps make this a project that you can do together, which gives you a way to spend more time together during the transition period.
Moving your parent or loved one to an Alaskan senior living community does not mean you will stop seeing them all the time. Senior living communities allow visitors to visit as often as they want, and, in some cases, visitors can even spend the night with their loved one in their room. Ensure your parent or loved one knows and understands that the transition to a senior living community will not get in the way of the relationship you have with each other.
Taking on the responsibility of caring for parents or senior loved ones is a big job, and it is OKAY to admit that you need help. Finding the right senior community to trust your loved ones’ care will improve both your and the lives of your loved ones, and your relationship with your senior loved one. If your ability to provide In-Home Care to Seniors in Anchorage Alask has reached a point where their health and safety may be at risk, it might be time to consider transitioning to a senior living community such as Baxter Senior Living in Alaska. At Baxter Senior Living, we understand that this transition process can be difficult and sometimes scary for your loved one and your family. Our caring and compassionate staff is here to walk you through the process. If you would like to learn more about our services, the community, and the team here at Baxter Senior Living, then please contact us today.