Lots of people have stress in their lives, but I believe caregivers often endure some of the most. There’s the stress of the day-to-day caregiving and ensuring your parent or other loved one is getting what they need when they need it. Are they eating enough? Who’s going to keep an eye on them while you’re at work all day? Add to that trying to balance your time between taking care of them, taking care of your own children and spouse, managing your career and maintaining friendships—it’s almost impossible to find time for it all. And where’s your time? Who’s taking care of your needs?
I understand what you’re going through. At Ridgeview, we hear this time and again from caregivers who are struggling to care for their loved one and with the decision-making process of moving them to assisted living. To provide some guidance, we have a few suggestions for handling all that stress:
1. Take it one step at a time.
Choosing an assisted living facility is a multi-phased decision. You don’t have to decide today. Today, all you have to do is think about it. Maybe make an appointment or two. Each day is progress and eventually you’ll reach your goal and find a community that will meet all of your love one’s needs.
2. Insulate your loved one from the decision-making process.
You don’t need to involve your loved one in every detail of the decision-making process. All of the information may be overwhelming for them. Bring them in once you’ve decided on a few facilities to visit so they can tour them with you.
3. Focus on your loved one’s needs.
It helps to alleviate stress when you think of others instead of yourself. Focus on the criteria that will be meet your love one’s needs. Focusing on their needs will naturally guide you toward the best solution.
4. Seek and accept help.
As a caregiver, you might have inadvertently assumed the role of superhero. You’re doing it all, right? Holding down the fort, taking care of everything and everyone? The stress of going through this alone won’t help you make the best decision for your loved one, however. Seek help wherever you can get it. From case officers to referral agents to your next door neighbor who’s willing to watch your loved one while you take a nap, accept help wherever you can get it.
5. Listen to your instincts.
You know your loved better than anyone else. Listen to your instincts. Find some quiet alone time and just listen to what your heart is telling you to do. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Conversely, if a facility feels right, it might be the one. Chances are, your instincts are right on target when it comes to making the best decision. At Ridgeview Assisted Living, we’re here to help you through this challenging and often emotional process. We’d love be part of the solution to finding skilled care in a home-like environment for your senior loved one. Call anytime at
505-470-8096 to speak with us, ask us any questions you may have, and schedule a tour of the facility.
Carla Lee Martinez