Learning to Let Go: When You Know It’s Time for Mom to Try Assisted Living

Assisted Living services can provide your aging mom with great care while giving you a needed break.

Assisted Living services can provide your aging mom with great care while giving you a needed break.

At the end of a long day, you feel exhausted. Drained. Completely worn out. You might be working a full-time job, pursuing your dream career, holding down a couple of part-time jobs just to make ends meet or dealing with the constant rigor and struggle of raising children on your own. Somewhere in there, too, you are — or have been — a family caregiver.

Your aging mother has needed assistance for some time, and you’ve been the one it’s fallen to. You don’t have any regrets per se because you feel it is your responsibility anyway, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are wearing out—wearing thin.

How do you know when it’s time for a different form of elder care, like assisted living? This is a common question many family members face when helping an aging parent or grandparent.

There comes a time when you have to confront this question honestly, not just for yourself but for her as well. After all, if you wear yourself out supporting somebody of advancing years, you might need assistance, too.

So, let’s talk about some common signs that indicate you need to have this conversation about assisted living sooner rather than later.


Potential Sign #1: You are losing focus… everywhere.

It’s not just when you are with your mother or doing things to help her around her house but in almost every aspect of your life. You are losing focus at work, at home, when you are driving, while you are at your mother’s, at the grocery store, and everywhere in between.

What generally happens when people begin losing focus is there is an increased risk of safety issues. You could be unfocused behind the wheel while driving down the road, which means your reaction times are probably much slower. Or you don’t remember what your spouse, partner, children, or close friends have been telling you.

Maybe you’ve made a few mistakes at work, been showing up late or leaving early, and it’s starting to take a toll on you and your boss. If you find that you are losing focus in your life just about everywhere, that’s a good sign you need to sit down and learn more about assisted living and have this conversation with your aging loved one.


Potential Sign #2: You are getting sick more frequently.

It’s not just that you are more stressed, but it is actually having a physical effect on you. You are getting sick more frequently. Constant stress will diminish the body’s immune system, opening the doorway for you to be more susceptible to bacteria, viruses, and other germs.

If you find that your health is declining slowly, even if you are still in your 40s or 50s, then this is a good sign that the stress of being a family caregiver is wearing you down, and you have to make a change, maybe with assisted living services.


Potential Sign #3: Your elderly mother needs more help than you can offer.

One of the biggest signs that indicate it’s time to sit down and learn as much as you can about assisted living and talk about it with your mother is that her needs have increased beyond your capacity to help.

Over time, this is far more likely to happen, so it is not a reflection of you, your abilities, or your dedication. Everything you have done and sacrificed has been an act of love, and there is nothing better, but you do need to understand your own limitations.

You also need to openly and honestly assess and accept your mother’s needs. If they have grown beyond your ability to take care of you, talk to her about assisted living. In the long run, you will benefit from starting this conversation.



If you or an aging loved one are considering a move to an Assisted Living facility near Satsuma, AL, contact Ashbury Manor Specialty Care and Assisted Living at 251-317-3017.

About Cindy Johnson

Ashbury Manor’s Administrator since 2008, Cindy Johnson is a long-time expert in the assisted living field. Prior to her arrival at Ashbury Manor, Cindy managed acquisitions and crisis management for existing and new larger senior care project developments for eleven years. As regional manager for an Oregon-based assisted living management company, Cindy was directly responsible for operations for five 50-65 bed assisted living facilities. As manager during the transition to new ownership, Cindy reorganized internal operations and conducted leadership training for Executive Directors. As a result of her management and expertise, one of the company’s facilities (in Ocala, Florida) received a deficiency-free survey, resulting in the lifting of a moratorium on operation.

A nurse for 36 years, senior care has always been Cindy’s passion. Desiring to work more closely with residents, Cindy became a Category II Administrator in 2005. As Ashbury Manor’s Administrator, Cindy understands the complexities associated with dementia and cognitive impairment and she has fallen in love with seniors with dementia or cognitive impairment and their families.

Cindy is Treasurer of the local “Senior Coalition” chapter. She enjoys mentoring new candidates who want to become administrators.

As a 16-bed facility, with Cindy's training and experience, our residents and their families can be sure Ashbury Manor’s carefully selected staff provides the expertise of a larger facility while maintaining the individualized personal care of a small special needs home.
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