How to Choose a Nursing Home
One of the most difficult things in life is to see someone you love grow old. You realize more and more that they just aren’t themselves anymore. But, you want to do everything you can to make sure they are happy and comfortable. And, in most cases, that means allowing them to stay at their own home or at yours.
Unfortunately, however, there may come a time where you just can’t take care of them anymore. They need more care and attention than you can give and it is no longer safe for them to be on their own. You are faced with the tough decision to consider sending them to a nursing home.
Guilt sets in as you contemplate if they have reached that point where it is the only option. There’s no right time for anyone to have to go to a nursing home, so it will solely come down to your own personal decision. Below are some signs that might help you make this difficult decision.
If your loved one is dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia, they pose a severe risk to themselves and other people. People who are dealing with these diseases need constant care and attention.
In the later stages of these diseases, your loved one may need to be fed, changed, bathed, and moved from room to room. This can become a full-time job that you just can’t afford to do. And, it could just be emotionally too difficult for you as well.
Elderly who have these kinds of medical issues are also prone to harming themselves by falling or can be involved in other kinds of accidents. Some of these accidents can be life-threatening and something you would never want to have on your conscience.
If you feel that you are dealing with any of the above, it may be time to research some nursing homes so that 24-hour coverage can be provided to take care of your loved one.
Your Own Challenges
Another reason you may want to consider looking into a nursing home is for your own stability. If you are the only person who is available to care for them, it can pose a severe challenge for you, especially if you are working full time. You begin to feel guilty that you are not able to provide all the care and support that you feel they need.
Your own mental health could be struggling as well. If you are not careful enough, you will be getting yourself sick and becoming unhealthy over all of these decisions. It is important to focus on your health and well-being.
Seeing someone you love struggle through their daily lives can be agonizing and exhausting. This can affect your ability to sleep, thus making you tired throughout the day and increasing your irritability. You just won’t feel good about who you have become.
It may also be a case of where the other caretaker, possibly a spouse, is too old to take care of their significant other. They may not be able to handle the physical demands that are needed to take care of their loved one. This can be difficult for them to understand because they feel it is their duty to take care of each other.
Admitting that you no longer can do that can take a long time. But, if you see that it is starting to affect their partner, you may need to step in to take immediate reaction. Even if it’s not a popular decision.
Another sign that it may be time to ask for help is if you start to see aggression in your elderly loved one. A lot of this aggression comes from their own confusion and aggravation. It is hard to realize something is wrong with you that you can’t control. It can cause outbursts of physical, mental, sexual, or violent aggression.
This may end up causing resentment in the family because family members are being attacked without any merit. It will also cause a tremendous amount of stress because you hate to see them in this state, especially when you know they have no control over it.
For their own safety and for your safety, if your loved one is showing signs of aggressive behavior, you need to get them into a nursing home. This is purely for their own safety and the safety of those around them.
Everyday Tasks Can No Longer Be Completed
Another sign that it is time to think about a nursing home is when you see that they just can’t do everyday tasks on their own.
- Are they no longer able to drive a car?
- Are they constantly forgetting things?
- Are they saying they ate one thing, but actually ate another?
- Are they able to get themselves dressed in the morning?
- Can they take a bath on their own?
- Do they still worry about their personal hygiene?
- If you were not around for 24 hours, would they be able to function properly?
- Are you scared when you leave them alone, even if it’s for a short period of time?
These are all questions, outside of any possible disease or illnesses they have, that you will want to consider. Even though making the decision to have your loved ones go to a nursing home will cause stress, you will be relieved of the stress after they are settled in. You will know that they are in a place that is providing the constant care that you couldn’t.
Choosing the Right Place
When you ultimately make that final decision, you will want to research the best place possible to ease your mind. Check out choosing a nursing home for some of the key components to look out for.
Unfortunately, we hear about many stories of neglect that happens in nursing homes so you may even want to communicate with some nursing home abuse attorneys. They might be able to shed some light on places to avoid.
But, ideally, you will want to check out the staff to resident ratio. You are sending them to a nursing home because you want as much care and attention to be given to them as possible, so if the ratio is high, choose a different place.
When you visit the place, keep an eye on the staff and how well they interact with the residents. Does it look like they are just doing a job or do they really seem to be vested in their well being? You will also want to trust your gut when you are there. You will get a feel as to whether you are comfortable or not with this location.
It certainly will never be the easiest decision, but you have to weigh in what will be the best solution for your loved one and yourself. You are hurting your loved one more by not being able to give them the best care they need. And, in the end, it will ultimately hurt you as well.