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Reasons to Consider Putting Elderly Parents in a Nursing Home

A woman hugging a smiling elderly woman

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


July 10, 2020

According to recent statistics, there are about 1.5 million Americans currently living in nursing homes.

This may sound like a lot, but it does tell you that you’re far from alone when making the decision when to put a loved one into a nursing home.

Here, we’re going to discuss some of the most common reasons for putting elderly parents in nursing homes. Read on for some help in making the difficult choice of whether or not it’s time to take this route.

They Can’t Take Care of Themselves

If your loved one can’t care for themselves, this is a surefire sign that they may need assisted living. Some other signs about when is it time to place a parent in a nursing home are:

  • Your loved one needs help eating, using the restroom, standing, walking, laying down, and performing personal hygiene routines
  • Your loved one no longer remembers to eat, bathe, or perform other important rituals
  • Your loved one is often confused and forgetful
  • Your loved one ends up in dangerous situations because of their confusion

However, while a nursing home is a viable option, it isn’t a good idea to immediately put your loved one into these facilities.

There are some advantages of at-home care that nursing homes can’t provide. For one thing, you will be able to spend much more time with your family member. Since you no longer will need to be the primary caregiver, you will have more time to relax with your loved one. You can talk, play games, watch movies, and allow them to feel relaxed and loved.

At-home care also provides your parents with a more comfortable and familiar environment to rest in. They won’t be confused by the change of scenery and lack of familiar faces.

You Are Feeling Constantly Drained

When you need to care for an elderly parent on your own, you likely will come out feeling drained and mentally unwell. After all, it’s both physically demanding and emotionally grueling to oversee the care of someone you love when they’re unable to do it for themselves.

Making a nursing home placement decision may make you feel guilty, but it truly is for the best. If you are unwell or unhappy, your mood will rub off onto your elderly parents and further distress them. You also will not be able to help them when you’re physically drained and exhausted since you can’t focus all of your energy on them.

However, just because you can’t take care of your loved one alone does not mean they have to immediately be placed into a nursing home. There are at-home care options that can make your life easier and allow you to get the rest that you need and deserve. They can also help your parents to feel less lonely because they will have the ability to accept visitors at any time. Additionally, an at-home caregiver will provide your parents with companionship.

Professional Care Is Required

When professional care is required to ensure that your parent has the means to live comfortably, many people determine that their parent needs to go to a nursing home. This is a completely valid decision because it allows them to get the opportunity for expert care 24/7. Nursing homes also provide an established community that your parent can become a part of and host activities meant to engage seniors.

However, what if your parent refuses to go to a nursing home? What if they want to stay in their own house?

In-home care provides an alternative that allows your parent to get professional care. This is a good choice when your parent is partially self-sufficient or when you can take over caring for them during some hours. Make sure that you do your research and consider this potentially more comfortable option before deciding to put a loved one into a nursing home.

You Don’t Live Nearby

While you likely are willing to stay at home and help your aging parents, this may not be possible for extended periods of time. Jobs and other obligations may get in the way, and it’s unfair to expect you to quit your job or put your career on hold indefinitely.

Having an at-home caregiver will work if your parents are at least in part self-sufficient. When they aren’t, though, a nursing home might be your best bet. You can ensure that your loved ones are getting the care that they need, whenever they need it.

You can then go back to your regular home, life, and career. While this will likely make you feel guilty, remember that you and your livelihood are also important. You can always come to visit your parents for long weekends and spend time with them. Plus, Skype chats make remote visits possible, too!

You’ve Exhausted the Alternatives

While at-home care is a more comfortable and generally superior alternative to a nursing home, it can sometimes not be enough.

After trying at-home alternatives, you may determine it best to find a good home for your parents. When doing your research, look into the credentials of the professionals that work in the facility that you are considering. Also, make sure that the reviews of the community are positive. You may even want to schedule a visit to the nursing home and make sure that the building is well-maintained and the residents are happy.

While a nursing home may feel like a last resort, it sometimes truly is the correct choice.

Beyond Reasons for Putting Elderly Parents in Nursing Homes

Now that you know some reasons for putting elderly parents in nursing homes, it’s time to get started. 

Look into the services provided by Commonwise Home Care so that you can develop a greater understanding of your role in caring for your loved ones. From personal services to home care services and companionship, our nurturing and caring experts will make your parents into their top priority.

We know that this is a difficult time, but remember: you’re not alone.

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.