when is it time for a nursing home

When To Know It’s Time For a Nursing Home

Deciding to move a loved one into a nursing home facility is a difficult one that often leads to many conflicting emotions. Feelings of guilt, fear, and sadness are completely normal. Many caregivers feel it’s their responsibility to care for their loved one, even if they are struggling through challenges and difficulties. If you’re worried your loved one will feel abandoned if moved to a nursing home or aren’t sure whether it’s the right time to make the move– you’re not alone.

It’s important to recognize the signs that it’s time to move to a higher quality of care for a loved one to improve their quality of life. But, how do you know when it’s the right time? There are several questions you should ask yourself before making this decision. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about how to recognize the signs that it’s time for a nursing home. 

Questions to Ask Yourself as a Caregiver 

There are a few essential questions to ask yourself before choosing to move your loved one to a nursing home. These questions will help to guide you in making your decision, and answer the questions that commonly surface when you’re unsure. 

1. Are they recovering from an injury, surgery, or a stroke?

If your loved one is recovering from an injury, surgery, or stroke – they could benefit from a short-term stay at a nursing home while they recover. This can be a safe alternative to them recovering at home, as they will receive more frequent care. Nursing staff will also be able to determine when it’s safe for your family member to be discharged, giving you peace of mind knowing they have fully recovered. 

2. Do they fall frequently?

This is one of the biggest indicators that it may be time to move your loved one to a nursing home. Frequent falls can be very dangerous to the health and safety of your loved one. If they are falling often or have unexplained bruises, this can indicate that they can no longer live at home safely without supervision and aid. 

3. Do they have a serious, progressive, or cognitive health condition?

Those with serious or progressive health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson’s or cognitive conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s may require assistance and additional care. Whether your loved one requires nursing home care will depend heavily on how advanced and serious their health condition is. 

If they require IV drips, catheters, a ventilator, or daily medication and are unable to support themselves, it could be time to move them to a nursing home facility. Check in with your loved one to see if they are facing challenges with managing their condition. 

For loved ones with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, they may benefit from being placed in a memory care facility, where they specialize in managing the common symptoms of these cognitive health conditions.

4. Am I facing difficulty in providing my loved one with care?

Ask yourself if you’ve faced any difficulty or challenges in providing care for your loved one. While being a caregiver for your family member, ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you injured yourself?
  • Are your relationships suffering?
  • Are you meeting all of your loved one’s needs?
  • Has your loved one gotten lost or wandered away from home?
  • Do you feel you aren’t providing the best care possible for them?

If you’ve answered yes to one or more of these questions, it’s more than likely time to consider getting additional assistance with caring for your loved one. 

5. Do they use a wheelchair or are bedbound?

Those who require a wheelchair or are bedbound cannot go to the washroom or complete many of their daily tasks without assistance. In a nursing home, the nursing staff will be better able to provide them with care and treat any health conditions including bed sores, incontinence, and more. 

6. Am I feeling constantly exhausted?

Do you feel like you are constantly exhausted? If so, you may be dealing with burnout and require some self-care and time to recharge. You shouldn’t be feeling perpetually exhausted caring for your loved one and if you are, you may not be able to provide them with the best level of care available. 

7. Can they no longer feed themselves or perform essential daily tasks?

When a loved one can no longer perform essential daily tasks like feeding themselves, brushing their teeth, and going to the washroom – it could be time to consider a nursing home. If your loved one can no longer perform these tasks, they will need constant assistance and supervision to ensure their health is being maintained. The nursing staff is trained to help with these essential daily tasks and can help put your worries at ease about your loved one’s health.

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