It’s not always when the patient is ready to be placed in a nursing home but when the caregiver decides it is the best option at that time. The biggest reason a person is placed are if they are incontinent, constantly sleepless or suffer from dementia and don’t really know who is caring for them.
The primary focus when making this difficult decision is your loved one’s ability to perform their activities of daily living. For example, here are some points of interest to consider: If your loved one can no longer use the telephone or if they are unable to shop without assistance or even shop at all. Along these same lines, if your loved one can no longer prepare their own meals or maintain an adequate diet.
If your family member cannot participate in housekeeping activities or needs their laundry done by others. Travel is another concern. If assistance is required for all of their travel needs, or if your loved one is not able to dispense their own medication, handle money or make day-to-day purchases your loved one may benefit from the care a nursing home can offer.
Of course some senior may be able to do some but not all tasks. In that case, a home health aide (HHA) caregiver may be an option. If someone is having trouble with the majority of or all of these tasks, then moving to a nursing home is often considered the safest choice if no one can provide 24 hour care.
But what if I made a promise to my loved one that I would not put them in a nursing home?
First, you made that promise without all of the facts because at that time, neither of you realized how different the situation could become.
Second, the promise was asked and made without the knowledge of all the services that would be available to seniors when your mother would need them.
Finally, the most important reason is that neither of you realized the promise would eventually jeopardize the health and safety of you both.
It’s okay to not honor a promise when the alternative is that the health and happiness of two people could suffer. Your mom is your mom, your dad is your dad; if they were able to think clearly she’d understand how things are now and want the best for you both. Since she can’t, please don’t hesitate to do what’s best for both of you.
Get the rest of this article by watching our Making the Nursing Decision video