Are you a caregiver for an aging family member or loved one and feeling overwhelmed? Caregiving for another person is a demanding task. It involves strenuous physical efforts. Looking after a senior loved one often also includes taxing emotional and mental components. Considering a move to an assisted living community in Norwood, NJ might be an improvement for everyone involved in the situation.Below we’ll lay out several ways in which an assisted living community could help alleviate caregiver challenges.
Relief of Actual Caregiver Tasks
Caregiving can be a very physically wearing task. You may have to lift the person out of bed frequently, help them walk, help with bathing or showering, take them to doctor’s appointments, and more. This can become too much for even fit and strong adults. In an assisted living community, there are several caregivers and staff available to help your loved one get around. Senior living communities employ highly-trained caregivers, who can work together to share the responsibilities of the care. That way, no single person gets overworked or overloaded.
Another benefit of an assisted living community is that residents and their families have access to medical care and exceptional healthcare providers. Many communities have specialized nurses or doctors on-site, and can provide safe and comfortable transportation to offsite medical offices as well.
Help With Cleaning and Household Chores
Many caregivers, on top of taking care of their loved one, are tasked with regular household chores. This may include grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and more. Having “to do it all,” as it often feels to caregivers, can be extremely exhausting and lead to caregiver burnout. And oftentimes, hiring additional help to come to the house may complicate schedules and dynamics in the home.
One of the biggest benefits of living in a well-established assisted living community is that all household chores are taken care of by the community and their team. Most communities provide daily cleaning, full housekeeping, laundry services, and more at no extra charge.
If you care for a loved one regularly, you are bound to experience emotional fatigue. Even caregivers, who are not related to the person they care for, often deal with many emotional ups and downs in their daily care of the person. Another difficult aspect is that as people age, their temper often changes. Seniors might get moody or upset for no apparent reason.
Older adults, who may be developing memory loss or dementia, might become very forgetful or frightened of even familiar places or routines. Some seniors may even get angry or aggressive towards the people around them. This can be challenging and unsettling for caregivers and family members as they may not know how to best respond or handle the situation.
Having access to caring and knowledgeable community staff to help with your senior’s mood changes, can make a tremendous difference for both you and your loved one. Staff in noteworthy senior living communities are specially trained in knowing how to respond to seniors’ changing emotions and behaviors. This can help your loved one feel safe and better understood in their environment. It can also support your whole family in adjusting to these changes.
Cooking and Meeting Nutritional Needs
More often than not, one of the caregiver’s key duties is providing meals for the person they care for. This often creates several challenges, related to time, energy, and being able to deliver all the necessary nutrients to your loved one. Many seniors lose their appetite or can become stubborn at mealtimes, making it difficult for caregivers to ensure proper nutrition.
Living in the safe surroundings of a senior living community can alleviate this challenge in multifold ways. For one, the best assisted living communities employ only the most skilled and creative chefs. Residents and their families can make custom requests to the menu to suit specific health conditions or preferences. Chefs will also take great care to cook with carefully-sourced ingredients, to ensure residents eat a well-rounded variety of fresh and health-boosting foods. And many residents in assisted living report that dining is one of their favorite times!
Better Options for Socialization and Exercise
Socialization and regular exercise for seniors are extremely important to support their health and well-being. But for caregivers, it can be tricky to come up with the right kind of activities and types of physical exercises that may be best for the cared-for person. Getting seniors to participate in home-based exercises or activities can also be difficult, as they may lack motivation or may feel too isolated at home.
Living in a lively retirement community can be a complete game changer for both seniors and their families. Residents in senior living communities get to enjoy social programs, fun events, physical exercise classes, and other interesting projects, all planned by the community’s staff. Family members no longer have to stress about finding or organizing activities. Residents in the community get to simply join in, mingle with their peers, and take in the experience. And engaging in activities and physical exercise has been shown to improve seniors’ health conditions.
Plus, one aspect that’s not often mentioned is that the happier and more engaged the senior in your life is, the happier you can be. Seeing your loved one enjoy themselves, getting involved with fun activities, and getting stronger through exercise can make a big difference in both of your lives. Caregivers and families also often relish seeing their loved one blossom by making new friends in the community and enjoying a more fulfilling life.
A further perk of moving the care of your loved one from their home to a loving assisted living community is that this may help improve your relationship. When a caregiver’s burden of the taxing care is relieved, they can simply enjoy visiting and spending time with their loved one. Family members, who previously had exhausting caregiver duties, will have more motivation, time, and energy to spend time with the senior. And your whole family can feel secure knowing that your loved one is receiving the best care possible.
Considering a change from home care to a senior living community can feel like a big step. It’s normal to feel a little apprehensive and worry about handing over the care of your loved one. But looking at the overall benefits both seniors and their caregivers can enjoy in a dedicated assisted living community, it’s worth exploring different care options in Norwood, NJ.
Do you have more questions about assisted living in Norwood? What level of care can you expect there, and how can your family prepare for such a move? Take a look at our Complete Guide to Assisted Living. It includes explanations of different types of senior care, step-by-step guidance, and answers frequently asked questions. Download the free guide here!