As Alaskan senior loved one’s age, one of the hardest choices we have to make as a family member and caregiver is the decision to move from in-home care in Anchorage to an assisted living community. Often, even thinking about having this conversation with our loved ones can invoke feelings of guilt. This is especially true when family and loved ones have promised that they would never put their loved one in a nursing home. Unfortunately, keeping that promise isn’t always realistic, safe, or possible. Over time, safety concerns, significant health issues, and specialized care needs become apparent, as does the need for the services provided at an assisted living community over those offered by in-home care. Below we have provided a few things to consider when trying to determine whether assisted living would be better than in-home care for your senior loved one.
Is Providing Safe In-Home Care Becoming Increasingly Difficult?
Early on, when your family realized that your senior loved one needed a little additional help and support to complete their day-to-day activities, it may have seemed like a manageable task. After all, it didn’t take a lot of time to help with the occasional grocery run, meal preparation, or a trip to the doctor’s office. Now, what started out as a manageable task seems to have slowly grown into something that one person or a small group of people cannot handle on their own. These changes likely didn’t happen overnight. As days weeks or months progress, your loved one’s capabilities may have changed, and therefore, your ability to assist them in the same manner as before has also changed. Consequently, now may be a good time to take an honest look at your situation and determine if in-home care is still the best solution.
Various situations may arise, making an assisted living community such as Baxter Senior Living in Anchorage a safer and healthier choice than long-term in-home care. For example, if you’re seeing your loved one is becoming progressively more incontinent, it may become difficult for one person to be present frequently enough to avoid accidents and the potential medical complications that can arise from long-term incontinence. Or, if your loved one is having difficulty moving around, assisting them on a one to one basis could become dangerous, especially if you are smaller than they are. This could result in one or both of you falling and increase the potential for significant injury. At a senior living community such as Baxter Senior Living, your senior loved one will have 24/7 care and assistance with their daily living activities, including mobility, dressing, bathing, and toileting. All of which can become difficult to assist with on a one to one basis in an in-home care setting as your elderly loved one’s capabilities change.
Does Your Loved One Require Specialized Care?
As noted above, there may come a time when your loved one’s medical condition requires specialized medical care or the ability for care to be provided on a 24/7 basis. If you, as a family member, are providing care, it is unlikely that you will be able to provide care to such a level on a long-term basis. If you are working with a paid in-home care service, this type of specialized around the clock care can become quite costly. If you are not a trained medical professional or the in-home care provider is not a licensed, specially trained provider, the ability to provide necessary care may become impossible. For example, if your loved one’s dementia symptoms cause them to wander continually, it may be time to consider a memory care community like Baxter senior living where trained staff and specially designed environments can keep them safe. Another example of a situation where assisted living could be a better option than in-home care would be if your senior loved one has minimal mobility or is bedridden. In these cases, careful repositioning on an hourly basis is required to prevent bedsores and other medical difficulties. In these cases, an assisted living community with 24-hour care is often the best option.
Do You Feel Emotionally Drained, Chronically Tired, or Even Resentful?
Stress and burnout related to caregiver responsibilities are a genuine concern. These emotions can affect your quality of life now as well as your overall long-term health. They can also impact your relationship with your senior loved one in ways you never thought possible. If you have started to feel anger or other negative emotions towards your senior loved one or concerns about your own feelings and behavior, it is time to make a change. When you have reached an emotionally negative place, it is not possible to adequately care for your senior loved one in an in-home setting calmly and positively.
The Cost of In-Home Care Has Become Too High
Hiring an in-home care provider can be very costly. Unfortunately, the cost of care depends on a variety of different factors, including the level of care and the duration of care your loved one needs. This means, if your loved one needs 24/7 care, seven days a week, the ability to provide in-home care services for the duration of their life may become cost-prohibitive. If your senior loved one needs specialized care or medical services provided in the home, this often comes at an added cost. Eventually, the cost of in-home care may become financially draining. When this occurs, it is essential to look into an assisted living community. While there is indeed cost associated with an assisted living community, you may find it more affordable than meeting your loved one’s needs through in-home care.
Is Safety Becoming A Concern?
Depending on your senior loved one’s care needs or medical diagnosis, issues such as wandering and aggression may arise. Some older adults with dementia may exhibit aggression or behave violently. If various ways of reducing this behavior have been tried and failed, it can eventually put both yourself and your loved one at risk of injury. It can also add a significant amount of stress to what is understandably already an emotional situation.
Also, many people with dementia desire to go to places or to walk around. Unfortunately, the damage to their brains means they sometimes don’t know how to get where they want to go, how to get back home, or how to avoid accidents and injuries. In many cases, in the time it takes for a caregiver to use the restroom or grab a bite to eat, a senior loved one can find themselves outside the home. If you have secured the home as much as possible, but still find your loved one is getting outside, transitioning from in-home care to a secured memory care community such as Baxter Senior Living is the best consideration for their safety.
Transitioning from Assisted Living instead of in-home care is a big step. Often, a significant amount of conversation, debate, and sometimes frustration goes into the decision-making process. Sometimes, the decision to move your senior loved one from in-home care to assisted living boils down to safety and overall health and well-being. As there is no “best time” for your loved one to move to an assisted living facility, it can sometimes be hard to know when the “right time” is. If you are providing in-home care services for your senior loved one and are concerned about your ability to continue to do so safely and effectively, now might be the time to consider an assisted living community such as Baxter Senior Living. We understand how stressful this time it could be and the difficulties that go into this decision-making process. If you seek advice or are interested in the tour of our facility, please call Baxter Senior Living today.