The decision to move an aging loved one into a nursing home may be one of the most difficult you will ever make. In fact, it is common for adult children to promise themselves they will never subject a parent to “that kind of place.” They may be sincere, but that kind of promise is made in light of the circumstances as they exist at the time. Life, especially with the elderly, is fluid and changing. Promises that include the word never or always are unrealistic. Not one of us knows what the future will bring. So give yourself grace in making the decision for a nursing home. Heart-searching goes with the territory, but don’t torment yourself with guilt.
At Hammond & Associates, our team works with families like yours in the Montgomery County area to decide the right course of action. If you need help deciding if a nursing home is the right decision, contact us today.
How Do I Know It’s Time for a Nursing Home?
A fact of modern life is that many people live longer than they would have a few decades ago, but many of the survivors live in less than ideal health. Modern medicine has brought people a longer life.
The caveat, however, is that many of these survivors, while happy to be alive, need a great deal of assistance to stay that way. What, in the past, was often a year or so of caregiving to one’s parents as they declined in health, has become five, ten or more years, much of it spent while caring for growing children and holding down a job.
When a caregiver can no longer meet the demands of providing the amount of care required for their loved one, a nursing home may be the right choice. Deciding to place a loved one in a nursing home should be based on whether he or she is:
- Suffering from a chronic disability;
- Experiencing deteriorating mental and physical capacities;
- Living alone or lacking someone who can continue to care for them;
- Spending more time in and out of hospitals;
- Having more difficulty with the activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, using the toilet, eating or transferring from bed to chair.
Benefits of a Nursing Home
There are many benefits that nursing home care can provide an individual, both in the early and late stages of an illness.
In the early stage of illness, a nursing home resident can meet other people with the same circumstances and be able to make new friends who understand the person’s condition.
Family and friends can continue to visit, knowing that their loved one is being provided for in their activities of daily living by a licensed group of professionals. Nursing home patients have an opportunity to form relationships with nursing home staff, instead of relying on strangers for their personal needs.
As their illnesses progress, the nursing home resident has people constantly around them who care about them and who are able to visit them daily.
Services Offered by Nursing Homes
Nursing homes today offer a variety of services and serve their populations with many different professionals, including Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), certified nurses’ aides, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, primary care physicians and recreation therapists. The nursing home resident gets round-the-clock care, and the former family caregiver can feel relief, knowing their loved one is getting quality care.
Is It Time for You to Contact a Nursing Home?
Caring for an aging parent or spouse is tough work. As an elderly person requires more and more care, the tired family caregiver often scolds himself or herself for not loving more, for not working harder, and for not having more energy. Yet it is difficult to give the type of constant loving care that many elders need. At times, an aging person can make your job even harder by being irritable, demanding, or angry. If a family caregiver does not get enough rest and help, he or she might feel angry, depressed, anxious, and resentful.
It is helpful to discuss your situation with a friend or in a support group for caregivers. Besides having the comfort of a listening ear, you might come up with some practical answers to your elder’s specific situation. You also might find new ways to cope with your weaknesses and limitations.
If you have questions regarding nursing home assistance, contact our legal staff today. We can explain how you and your loved ones can use Medicaid to help with the cost of nursing home care.