Caregivers can easily slip into burnout without noticing. Providing care for a family member with a chronic illness, disability or mobility limitation, cognitive impairment, or any other health issue is truly draining. It’s a responsibility and role that consumes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you don’t delegate tasks or ask for help, you will eventually reach a breaking point. One person can only do so much.
However, reaching this personal limit does not mean the person you’re caring for should move to assisted living. This is a decision that must be carefully weighed. Although caregiver burnout is a serious issue, it may be that other family members or friends are willing to help, to ease the burden for the primary caregiver without necessitating an assisted living transition — if only they knew of the needs and how best to meet them. Also, the opinion and preferences of the person who will be moving should be known to all involved in the decision-making process: the individual’s desires should guide any and all discussions of “what’s next.”
If a family has exhausted all possible options in an effort to support the primary caregiver, choosing assisted living may be the best solution. Before moving forward, make sure you have explored other options too, such as home care, independent living, adult day services, or hospice care.