There is no ‘right’ time for placing a loved one in a memory care facility.
First and foremost, more often than not many couples have spent countless hours together, especially during the years of retirement. Many have come to understand a new way of life together, often more reliant on one another than during career years. Although there may have been changes along the way, your loved one living apart from you may be the first time you are doing so in 30,40,50, or even 60 years. It’s going to be different.
It may go against what you had previously discussed, but circumstances may have changed drastically since that point. Unfortunately, if this is the scenario there may be a cloud of guilt looming over. It’s normal to feel that, many family members face the same feelings.
You will question yourself often. Feelings of guilt often lead to individuals ensuring their loved one is getting the best possible care. You will question yourself when things are not perfect within the community. Unfortunately, with progressive, complex conditions such as Alzheimers or Parkinsons disease, nothing will be perfect, ever.
With that being said, when is the right time to move a loved one to a memory care community? There are only a few circumstances in which we recommend a move to a memory care facility. Like many others, we prefer individuals to age in place but we know that is not always possible. The costs associated with in-home care are often beyond the means of many families, therefore alternatives like memory care communities are provided.
If your loved one has become a risk to him or herself it is time to move them to a memory care facility. As the disease progresses there may be instances in which your loved one has scared you half to death. This may be in the form of wandering off or getting into something they are truly not suited for anymore. Protect your loved one by ensuring they will not be able to find themselves in a situation that may harm them.
Your loved one may have also put others at risk. The most common instance of this would be getting behind the wheel of a car. This may also be a culmination of less severe events that have put others at risk. The last thing you want on your hands is another feeling of guilt if something irreversible were to happen.
As a family caregiver it is important your health does not decline alongside your loved ones. A progressive disease is hard on not only the individual but also the family members involved. It is vital your health, as the family caregiver, remains constant in order to provide for your loved one. There have been many cases in which the family caregiver allows their health to slip to the point of no return. Those caregivers often pass before the person they are caring for. If you or someone has noticed a decline in your health as the family caregiver it is important you look into the various options. Those options include in-home care or a move to memory care.
As neurological diseases progress the need for continued medical support is crucial. Home health aides or certified nursing assistants can only provide so much care. Memory care communities will have a nurse on sight 24/7 overseeing the medical care of your loved one. If your care or hired care cannot provide the full range of duties necessary to ensure your loved one is safe, it’s best to move them in a facility that can.
Based on our feelings the ‘right’ time may have already occurred for you and your loved one. However, only you can make the correct decision as it relates to you and your family. We have seen and understand how difficult these times are. If anything, we hope this article helped to create some clarity on a very personal situation you and your family have encountered.