One of the most difficult decisions that a caregiver will have to make is the decision to put their loved one into a nursing home. For those caregivers who love the ones they are caring for, this can be a heart wrenching decision. Many want to know how to know when it is time to move the person to a nursing home. Below are some things to consider.
If the person requires 24-hour care, or care that you are not able to provide, such as lifting the patient, it might be time to move them to a nursing home. If you have a large network of family who are each pitching in to help, this probably won’t be necessary. If, however, you have to handle the lion’s share of the work on your own, you may have to make the decision to choose a nursing home.
If being at your home presents dangers to your loved one, such as the possibility that he or she will wander off, fall or otherwise get hurt, the best thing might be to opt for a nursing home. One example of when this might be necessary is when the person has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. In such a case, there are so many possible ways that the person could harm themselves that it might make more sense to put them in an environment where they will get round the clock care.
In all of the cases above, there may be alternatives to placing your loved one in a nursing home. If you are able to have a nurse come to your home for enough time each day to handle the tasks that are too much for you, that is one alternative. Another is to consider a live-in companion/caregiver. These are not nurses, but someone who can assume the caregiver role for a large portion of the day while you are at work or handling the other things that you need to do each day.
It is a sad fact that some patients, when they become very ill or suffer with dementia, can become very hostile. If this is the case with your loved one, you may have to consider a nursing home. This is especially true if you have children in the home.
No matter what circumstances make you think that it is time for a nursing home, remember that you are trying to do what is best for your loved one. You are not shirking your responsibility if you put them in a nursing home for the right reasons.
The bottom line is that knowing whether it is time to put your loved in a nursing home is a very personal decision, and there is no one answer that is going to be right for everyone. Consider all of your options but, in the end, you may have to make that difficult decision in order that your loved one can be safe and have all of the assistance that he or she requires.
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