How to Cope With the Decision to Place Your Loved One in Assisted Living

February 23, 2019 at 5:45 pm ·

How to Cope With the Decision to Place Your Loved One in Assisted Living

“Am I doing the right thing?” Placing a beloved family member in an assisted living facility is one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever make in life.

You want to give them all the care they need, but it’s become too much for you to handle. You know they need professional care, but that means letting them go. You feel like you’re abandoning them.

The good news is, these are very common feelings and we can help you come to terms with them. If you’re experiencing guilt, anxiety, or grief over placing a loved one in assisted living, read this guide to learn how to cope.

Common Emotional Responses to Assisted Living Admission

Guilt and grief over placing a loved one in assisted living take many forms, some more subtle than others. General anxiety or depression is a common symptom of these unprocessed feelings. Feeling guilt any time you enjoy something is another.

Many also feel an urge to be excessively present at the facility. They’re often distrusting and disapproving of the staff’s ability to provide competent care.

Causes of These Emotional Symptoms

These feelings are usually a manifestation of guilt. It’s natural to feel responsible for caring for your loved ones. When you are unable to provide the level of care they need, it feels as though you have failed at this responsibility.

This sense of failure is compounded when other loved ones, including the patient, hold you to this same expectation of being the primary caregiver. The patient may even have expressly asked you not to place them in a care home.

This sense of failure leads to disappointment, inadequacy, powerlessness, and guilt. The inability to provide adequate care also forces the frightening acknowledgment that the condition is worsening. This invites fear and worries, leading to anxiety.  

Processing These Emotions

Here are the steps to process and overcome these negative emotions.

Admit the Problem

Acknowledge that you’re going through a very difficult transition. Remembering there’s a legitimate reason for these emotions reminds you that what you’re feeling is normal. With such a big change in your life, it’s important to feel normal/make sense of things as much as you can.

Be Realistic and Positive

It would be silly to pretend you’re happy about the situation or that everything’s fine. But it’s just as inappropriate and unhelpful to be overly negative. The proper solution is to be realistic about your options and still remember the upsides.

You know you couldn’t provide enough care on your own. That usually means their needs are too great for any one person to provide. This situation is not your fault or anyone else’s.

Furthermore, assisted living gives them 24-hour, professional medical care, with multiple caregivers at a time. By placing your loved one in assisted living, you are providing them with the best care.

You haven’t failed them.

Provide the Care Only You Can Give

Also, you are now free to care for them in other ways, ways that only you can. You know your loved one’s favorite flowers, games, stories, etc. And you can bring these and other personal displays of affection when you visit.

You can still give them what the care facility can’t: yourself and your time. And these are the most important things you can give.

Learn More About How to Care For Them

You are not alone in this. Ask the assisted living facility for help and learning resources for navigating through this transition. They will help you discover new ways to care for your loved one as you give up your role as the primary caregiver and settle back into your role as a family member or spouse.

You are Doing the Right Thing

Your loved one is in good hands. But you have needs, too.

If you’re still struggling to cope with these feelings, make sure you get the help you need. Ask your loved one’s assisted living facility if you need counseling or resources on coping.

Next, read how independent senior living near Clemson, South Carolina gives you a better quality of life.

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5 Tips to Help Elderly Parents Avoid Isolation

February 16, 2019 at 5:44 pm ·

5 Tips to Help Elderly Parents Avoid Isolation

Your loved ones are getting older, and you want to help them the best you can. But the reality is, you just don’t have much free time in a day, and removed from their home and old routines, your loved one is starting to feel isolated. 

Senior isolation creates more than just a feeling of loneliness. It can actually increase the risk of mortality and accelerate cognitive decline. 

If your loved one is feeling isolated, take a look at these three tips to help them enjoy life and get back out there. 

1. Get Them Involved in the Community

One of the best things you can do to help your elderly parent or relative avoid social isolation is to encourage greater involvement in the community. 

If they live in an independent living facility or personal care facility, it can be difficult to feel attached to a community, as they’re no longer in their own home surrounded by familiar neighbors and friends. By encouraging them to go out and participate in community events, it gives them something to look forward to. 

For example, if your loved one is religious, you can encourage them to attend places of worship. Most places of worship, whether it’s a church, synagogue, mosque, or even a regular meeting group, have a weekly rhythm that offers a consistent source of positive social interaction and support. 

If your loved one isn’t religious, you can still encourage them to get out in the community. Maybe they’re handing out brochures at a local theatre, lending a hand at a local charity, or volunteering at a local animal shelter. 

2. Arrange Transportation

Of course, it can be difficult for your loved one to get involved in the community if they can no longer drive, or if they live in an area without public transportation. 

But that doesn’t have to hold them back if you arrange transportation. 

If you live near them, you could offer to drive them to social activities a few times a week or build a network of friends and family members who can help out. 

If that’s not available as an option but they are relatively mobile on their own, you can help them learn the ins and outs of their local public transportation. You can also ask if community centers or senior centers offer transportation services for seniors. 

3. Encourage Exercise

Finally, you can help fight feelings of isolation and boost your loved one’s health by encouraging them to engage in regular exercise

This could take almost any form, from aerobics to swimming to yoga for seniors. 

Just make sure it’s something they enjoy doing and are physically able to do on a consistent basis. That way, they can reap the many benefits of exercise while engaging in regular social activity. 

Building Community to Fight Senior Isolation

With these tips, you can help your loved one leave isolation behind and make the most of their golden years. 

Of course, a great community helps too. That’s where we come in. 

We’re a personal care facility in Toccoa, Georgia that knows your loved one has a lot of life left to live, which is why we give them the tools they need to enjoy it, with delicious meals, 24-hour staffing, and regular activities. 

Sound like the right fit for your loved one? Schedule a tour today. 

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Why Socialization is So Important for Seniors

February 10, 2019 at 5:43 pm ·

Why Socialization is So Important for Seniors

At least 5.5 million senior Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. As we grow older, the rule “use it or lose it” rears its ugly head. This goes for both physical and mental elasticity. 

It is important to keep seniors active and engaged to avoid serious health problems. Introducing social activities to keep forming new connections and bonds will make them happier and healthier.

We’ll go over the benefits of socialization and how these senior activities contribute to a better quality of life. 

Benefits of Socialization for Seniors

Most of us can’t live completely solitary lives. We evolved through social interaction and community. As social beings, we encounter various obstacles when we are left alone for long periods.

These are a few ways socialization affects our health as seniors.

Cognitive Abilities

When seniors aren’t challenged mentally and are left to stew in their own thoughts, they become depressed. Seniors will start to experience difficulty doing basic tasks.

As you spend time alone more, you begin to want to get out and do less. It’s important to keep the stubbornness associated with aging from hampering decision-making abilities.

Importance of Community

As we grow older, it gets harder to keep up with societal changes. Technology and cultural advancements may be missed by aging seniors. Senior living communities are important for challenging old habits and trying new things.

This is especially true for seniors who have lost a spouse or best friend. Making new friends and doing group activities increases happiness. 

Improving Self-Esteem

As we get older, we aren’t as quick, able bodied, or confident. Senior self-esteem begins to falter during retirement. Part of this is due to a drop in socializing, as most retire to their homes. 

A sedentary or rigid lifestyle can contribute to poor self-esteem. This is because the things that we used to be great at are no longer a certainty. Rather than learning new things and learning humility, seniors can become self-critical and harsh.

Physical Mobility

Telling your parents or grandparents that they need to get out more usually doesn’t go over well. Seniors don’t like to make any drastic changes to their routine, unless they want to. If they’ve retired to their Lazyboy for TV in-between eating and sleeping, it’s a tough habit to crack.

A senior living center will provide incentives for them to be out and about. Outdoor activities, games, and people to hold them accountable are key tenants of staying active for seniors.

Relationship-Based Care

As you can see, socialization affects key facets of our lives as seniors. It can be a challenge keeping up with parents or grandparent’s state of health. That challenge becomes much harder when they live off on their own.

Rather than fearing the day that they begin to lose mental or physical independence, do something today. Senior living in Toccoa, GA offers freedom for both seniors and their family members. Beehive of Toccoa is one of the best facilities, offering numerous modern amenities.

Seniors can enjoy games, 24/7 assistance, private rooms, chapel service, and more. Contact us today to make senior living great again.

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