Caring for a person that has dementia can be challenging at times. Memory loss can present different obstacles in a person’s life, transforming tasks that used to be perfectly ordinary into difficult and, even potentially dangerous, ordeals.
Of course, this can become an even greater challenge if the person you’re caring for is one of your parents. It can be difficult seeing your mother or father in that state, and, in some cases, moving them into an assisted living facility that specializes in professional care is an option to consider.
When Does it Become Apparent That Assisted Living Is the Best Option?
If you are having trouble deciding whether or not you should move your parent into an assisted living community, then you should take a look at some of the signs they are showing you. If you notice that their cognition has begun to significantly deteriorate, then they should probably be moved into an assisted living facility.
Signs include forgetfulness (forgetting to take their medication, forgetting to shower or brush their teeth, etc.), incontinence, and things not being properly taken care of around the house. Pets might not be receiving proper care, or perhaps food has gone bad without them realizing.
Assisted living communities can provide the expert care and services that your aging parent needs while also giving them the ability to socialize and be part of a community of people who are in similar situations.
If you feel that moving your parent to an assisted living facility is becoming more and more necessary, we have provided some information on how to find the right place for them and navigate the moving process. We will also discuss other options for dementia care if you feel that assisted living may not be the right fit.
Finding the Right Home
The first stage of the process is always going to involve some research and planning, but you need to make sure that you’ve spoken to the parent who needs care before you start to make any plans.
This can be difficult, especially if their dementia makes it hard for them to understand what’s happening. If they are having difficulty understanding what is happening or aren’t convinced that assisted living is the right avenue for them, then make sure to assure them that they are going to a place where they will receive proper care, can socialize with other people, and where their quality of life will be significantly improved.
Do Your Research
You’re going to want to make sure that you have done proper research on any community that you are considering moving your parent into. Take a tour of the facility and discuss with the heads of the community about the level of care your parent requires.
Bring a list of questions you have and inquire about the different activities they have to offer, as well as what measures they take to ensure that their patients are living an enjoyable and comfortable life. Some questions you should ask include:
- Is the environment designed to be safe and welcoming?
- Is the staff made up of caring and passionate individuals?
- Have the experiences of previous and current residents been positive?
- How are the meals structured?
You should also ask to view an activity calendar. Assisted living communities offer lots of activities to help their residents stay active and lively, and some of these activities are designed for both residents and their families too!
Of course, always make sure to read reviews and testimonials from previous patients and their families before making the decision to move. You want to find an assisted living community that only has their patients’ best interests at heart.
Applying for an Assisted Living Home
Countless people rely on senior living facilities and nursing homes to keep themselves healthy. This can make it difficult to get your loved one into the place you feel is best for them, and you may need to apply for one a few months in advance.
Luckily, care center staff like the team at Catholic Care Center can help you through the application process and financial planning stages. If the move needs to happen sooner rather than later, we will do everything we can to help move the process along.
Moving Them Into Assisted Living
If your mom or dad is struggling with the moving process, then it is important to take steps to make sure that they are as comfortable as possible. Showing them the place beforehand is a good way to get them ready for the move. That way they have an idea of what they’re getting into and can even help plan how the room is arranged and decorated; this way it feels more like a home to them and is more personal. If your parent continues to resist the need for additional care, it may require advice or recommendations from their doctor to persuade them to make the transition.
On the contrary, if your parent is open to the idea of moving into an assisted living facility, you could encourage them by saying things like “I can’t wait for you to see the new place,” or “You’re going to love how we’ve decorated the place.” This will help get them excited leading up to the day when they actually move in.
Essentially, you just need to meet them at the same level they are at, in an emotional sense. If they are ready and willing to make the transition, then you need to be as well. If they are unhappy about having to move out of their house, then you need to stress that, although it is hard for everyone to have to do this, it is the right thing to do. We all want to grant our aging parents the opportunity to thrive, even if that means an adjustment in their living situation.
Continue to Show Your Support
Once your parent makes it into assisted living, their future is going to be much brighter. This sort of service can enable people to maintain as much of their independence as possible, all without putting themselves at risk or missing out on crucial elements of their old lifestyle.
Of course, making the most of this may not be quite as easy as you expect, and you will still have to work hard to make sure that your parents have the best possible care. Paying regular visits to or video calling someone with dementia can help prevent them from getting too lonely and will keep their spirits high during what is most likely a difficult time.
Visiting at least once a week is a good way to approach this, and you can split these visits between your other family members too. A lot of patients love to have their favorite foods and snacks delivered to them by their loved ones, so this is a great way to show your support as well.
Along with seeing your parents as often as you can, it is a good idea to have conversations with the staff working with them. Catholic Care Center stresses the importance of predicting possible situations before they happen and taking measures to ensure that those situations don’t happen in the first place.
We do this by asking you questions about how your parents would react to certain situations. If a particular scenario would make your parent uncomfortable, then we will put them in a place where that is unlikely to occur.
Assisted living communities are a wonderful thing. They help your parents and other loved ones get the care they need and allow them to live comfortably in a small community of people. Moving someone you care about into an assisted living facility is going to take some work, but, as long as you follow the right steps, the whole process should be simple and straightforward.
Additional Dementia Care Options
Sometimes, depending on the severity of a person’s dementia, assisted living is not always the best route to take when providing the care that they need. Assisted living is for patients who have difficulty functioning or struggle to perform simple daily tasks.
Catholic Care Center offers what are called Memory Cafes, which is a free service that is available for a few hours a few times a week. At these Memory Cafes, people with dementia get the chance to socialize over a nice meal and it allows their caregivers (usually the family) to get a nice break from the constant care that is required.
Catholic Care Center is a non-profit organization composed of a team of driven, compassionate, hardworking individuals who are committed to providing the care and assistance that your loved one requires.
If you live in Wichita, KS and are looking for an assisted living community or other dementia care services for your parent, contact Catholic Care Center. For more information on moving call (316) 771-6550 to schedule a virtual tour today!