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What to Do When a Parent in a Nursing Home Wants to Go Home

An elderly woman sitting in front of a nursing home

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


September 14, 2020

With a senior population of around 47.8 million, it’s no wonder that nursing homes are such a large industry in the US.

Most of these homes are relaxing places beneficial to their residents. Still, there are a plethora of senior citizens who don’t enjoy assisted living facilities. If an elderly parent wants to leave nursing home, you’re likely learning this the hard way.

Fortunately, there are nursing home alternatives for seniors who want to leave nursing homes and return to their own houses. Read on for some information on how to get out of a nursing home, and how to stay out of a nursing home, and what to do when you find a loved one with issues like dementia wanting to go home.

Talk to Your Parent

The first thing you should do is have a conversation with your parent about why they want to leave.

This may sound odd, especially if your parent has memory issues. However, one of the most frustrating things about aging is that you get left out of major decisions involving you. Talking to your parent shows that you care about how they feel and that you want them to have a say in what happens to them.

Ask your parent what they don’t like about their assisted living facility. While it’s uncommon, elder abuse is a serious problem in some nursing homes. Make sure that you’re on the lookout for signs of this. If your parent says something that points to this as a possibility, get them out as fast as possible.

More often than not, though, your parent will simply dislike something about being in assisted living. Do they resent having a lack of privacy? Are they feeling isolated because of the lack of activities that they can go to? If these are the issues, you can probably talk to a caregiver about why this is a problem.

Sometimes, your parent simply will want to go home so that they can be in a comfortable environment. They want to be surrounded by their own things and the people that matter to them. This is a completely valid concern, and there are ways that you can remove your loved one from a nursing home and take them home.

Research Home Care Options

Now that you’ve discussed your parent’s needs with them, it’s time to look into some top-notch home care options. There are many different alternatives for home care, so you’ll want to figure out what best suits your parent’s needs as well as your own. Read on to learn more about how you can choose an at-home caregiver for your loved one.

Decide What Services Your Parent Needs

When researching home care services, think about what your parent needs to have done for them. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the house easy to move around and navigate, assuming that clutter is picked up and doors are kept open?
  • Can your parent perform personal hygiene-related tasks such as bathing and brushing teeth on their own?
  • Can your parent use the restroom by themselves?
  • Is your parent frequently confused in a way that may put them in danger or stressful situations?
  • Does your parent generally remember to eat/drink water?
  • Is your parent lonely and in need of a companion?
  • How often can you or other family members realistically help out with caregiving tasks?

When you answer these questions, you will be able to figure out whether at-home care is practical and how much you will need to invest. Some parents may need 24-hour caregivers while others may only need someone to come around for a few hours each day.

Know Your Budget

You’ll also want to consider your budget. This will help you to figure out what you can realistically afford.

At Commonwise, we pride ourselves on offering quality care at an affordable price. However, we also understand that some families are strapped for cash.

There are a multitude of different care packages out there. Make sure that you set a realistic budget and stick to it. This means looking into your monthly expenses and figuring out how much you have remaining!

Come Up With a Schedule

Once you choose the Commonwise Home Care services that are right for you, it’s crucial that you make a schedule.

Know when the caregiver will be with your parent. This will give you an idea as to when check-ins need to be more frequent and help you figure out when you can rest.

When caregivers aren’t present (and even when they are), you and other family members should sit down and make a schedule of visitation. Having loved ones come to visit (and maybe make some snacks) will keep your parent from becoming lonely or isolated, so this is incredibly important.

Take Care of Yourself

Once your parent comes home, remember that you still need to take care of yourself.

Not only will you be unable to assist others if you’re not doing well, but your health is important, too. You are a person with value and deserve to treat yourself as such. Caring for an elderly parent can be a physically and mentally exhausting process, and it’s critical that you know your limits and take breaks when you need to.

If you live far away, you may be considering moving home for a while. While this isn’t a bad idea in principle, ask yourself whether it truly is practical for you. You don’t want to lose your dream job or leave a young child behind indefinitely. Moving back home and visiting your parents on weekends is an option to consider once you find a professional caregiver to help out daily.

More on When a Parent in a Nursing Home Wants to Go Home

While it’s difficult to cope when a parent in a nursing home wants to go home, there are options out there to give you help and hope.

Remember that no matter how you may feel, you’re far from alone during this difficult time — there are people out there who want to help both you and your parent.

Read more about our at home care services or call our Care Team today at 434.202.8565.

Disclaimer: Please check with your physician before making any changes to your diet, exercise, or medication routine.