As our loved ones get older, you may find that they require more care than you’re able to provide. It’s a hard conversation to have, but deciding to move your parent, sibling, or grandparent into an assisted living facility may be the best option.
Signs It’s Time for a Nursing Home
As the population ages, millions of adults are being faced with decisions regarding putting their elderly parents in nursing homes. And while there can certainly be some gray area in the decision-making process, here are several signs that it’s almost certainly time for your parent to move into this next phase of their life:
- If your elderly parent’s safety at home is a concern, then it’s probably time that they get some supervision. Pay especially close attention to how they walk and whether they’re able to safely use the restroom, get in and out of bed, get the mail, etc.
- When personal hygiene is harder to maintain, this is another sign that extra help is needed that can’t be provided at home.
- Are eating and sleeping habits changing? This could be a sign of needing assistance from caregivers.
- If medications aren’t being taken properly, there can be serious consequences. Having a nurse or caregiver to keep your parent’s medication schedule on track is important.
- If you and your other family members can no longer share the load of caring for your elderly parent at home, then it may be time to explore nursing home options.
There’s obviously a right and wrong way to go about moving your parents into a nursing home. Depending on their mental state and health, you might not even legally be able to make the decision without their consent.
Make sure you have the necessary conversations and approach the issue from a place of care and compassion.
5 Tips for Choosing a Nursing Home
In most areas, you’ll find dozens of nursing home options. The challenging part is figuring out which one is the right fit for your aging parent. Here are a few tips for choosing one:
- Consider Specific Needs
While needs change over time, consider what specific needs your parent has right now. Do they need nursing care, physical therapy, dementia care, hospice care, meal preparation, etc.? Take specific details like this into account.
The last thing you want is to move them again in six or 12 months. A second move in a short period of time can be very hard on an elderly person.
- Research Their Reputation
Not all nursing homes are as great as they seem. Nursing home abuse cases have been on the rise nationally over the past decade. Make sure you’re reviewing each facility’s track record and reading all testimonials and reviews. You certainly don’t want to put your aging parent into a compromising situation.
- Feel Out the Vibe
There’s something to be said for really feeling out the vibe of a place when you walk in. Take a tour of the facility and consider the ambiance and general feel. Is it dark and gloomy? Or is there a positive energy? Do people smile and look you in the eye, or is everyone isolated and reserved? Does the staff seem engaged and happy to be there? Pay close attention to these details.
- Consider Friends and Social Connections
Socialization is extremely important for elderly individuals. Research shows that people who are socially engaged on a daily basis are more likely to be happy and live longer. They’re also less likely to experience depression. If your parent already has several friends at one nursing home, it might be worth finding them a room in that facility (even if it costs slightly more).
- Think About Location and Proximity
Finally, there’s the practical matter of the nursing home’s location. If one nursing home is 45 minutes away from your house and another one is just 10 minutes away, it would make sense to choose the one that’s closer. This makes it easier for you to visit, which would presumably be something your parent wants.
Putting it All Together This is a major life decision for both you and your parent. Don’t rush the process. Take your time and find a nursing home that’s convenient, affordable, and has all of the resources your parent needs. A little research can go a long way!