Caring For a Loved One: Top 3 Signs You Should Consider a Nursing Home

 Many of us want to care for our loved ones. But as the day to day challenges get harder, these are some major signs that it is time to consider a nursing home.

 The number of seniors aged 65 and above is expected to reach over 98 million by 2060.

With new medical technologies, life expectancy today is higher than at any other time in America's history.

This means more and more people will be making decisions on their aging parents and relatives care.

While many of us would want to care for our loved ones as they age, day to day challenges can restrict your ability to provide adequate care. This scenario brings forth the discussion surrounding placing your loved one in a nursing home.

This is not a decision most people arrive at lightly. Nevertheless, at times, there are clear signs that this is the direction you have to take.

What are these signs? Read on.

1. Declining Health

A stroke, a fall or complications from surgery typically offset a series of events that make nursing homes the next best option for an aging loved one.
Other non-physical conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s are telling signs as well.

Some of these conditions require round the clock help, which if you have a typical job and a family of your own, becomes challenging.

Without help, your loved one becomes unable to take medications on their own, groom themselves and even carry out typical day to day activities.

At times, their safety within their homes is also questionable. If they keep taking falls or wandering off, then it’s definitely time to think of a solution.

2. You Lack the Capacity to Take Care of Them

At times, the decision is informed more by your life circumstances, than your aging loved ones.

Today, professionals are finding themselves working harder and longer hours than before. This can even leave you with almost no time for yourself.

When it comes down to it, it’s important to evaluate your life and your capabilities objectively. This should not leave you guilt-laden because, in essence, you are trying to make the best choices for your loved one.

Some question to ask yourself include:
  • What are my working hours?
  • Am I able to take time or days off when my loved one needs me to?
  • Do I travel a lot or am I able to get to them quickly when they require my presence? 
  • Do I have the strength, patience, and zeal required to provide the level of care my loved one deserves? 
  • What does my loved one think and feel about being in a home?

Note also, that at times, the decision is more or less made for you.

Take a case where the person requires help with grooming, shopping and cooking, bathing, using the toilet and so on. This is basically round the clock care.
In such a case, unless you have a flexible, work from home job, providing sufficient help is untenable. A nursing home or in-home care becomes a viable option.
The other aspect involves you as the caregiver. If you are doing your best to provide care but find yourself experiencing caregiver stress, then it’s time to rethink your entire strategy.

3. Your Loved One Is Isolated

Isolation and loneliness can lead to poor health and anxiety issues.
Seniors tend to suffer from isolation because:
  • It’s harder to attend social events due to transportation or health issues
  • Their spouses and friends may have passed on
  • They are retired, which minimizes their circle
If you notice or are made aware that your aging parent or relative goes days without stepping out of their home, then it’s time to have a discussion about it to find out why.

Placing them in a home puts them in an environment where they will be surrounded by caregivers and their peers. This environment will encourage socialization.
They also get to take part in board games and physical activity sessions that are great for their health, and that encourage bonding as well.

Picking the Best Nursing Home for your Loved One

Deciding to place a loved one in a nursing home is just as important as picking the best home for them.

According to Roberts Law office, a leading Kentucky nursing home attorney, a third of the nursing homes in America have been cited for some form of misconduct.

Here are a few tips for picking an excellent senior care home.
  • Ask for referrals from your circle for homes where they have placed their loved ones successfully
  • If your loved one has chronic ailments, find a home that has experience taking care of seniors with the said condition
  • Ideally, pick a home that is close to home or accessible so that you are able to make as many visits as possible
  • Look up the home online to see what other people are saying about it.
  • Find out how much flexibility is offered to residents.
  • Visit several facilities and look at their hygiene levels, the sounds and smells of the place
  • Look for a facility with a fair senior to attendant’s ratio
  • Go for a facility that has a good mix of board indoor games and outdoor activities
  • Check if the various homes provide emergency transport to hospitals in case a resident requires it and you are not close by
  • Lastly, talk to staff and tour several homes looking for any clues. Trust your gut as well
  • If your loved one has Medicare insurance, ensure to inquire if your chosen facility accepts the cover.
Remember That

Placing your aging parent in a nursing home is much for their benefit as it is for yours.

You should therefore not feel guilty for wanting to put them in an environment where they are well taken care of, and where they can interact with their peers.
Not there yet? It’s okay if you are not ready to place your loved one in a senior’s home.

However, be sure that you are available for them and try to make them as comfortable as possible it is also important that they exercise often. Do you need some guidelines on senior exercise?

Check out this post for a comprehensive guide.


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