When is it Time for a Nursing Home?

Putting your loved one in a home is a difficult decision. We look at when and how that decision can be beneficial for your family.

The question of when to put an elderly parent in a nursing home is often associated with feelings of guilt, shame, fear, and worry. You won’t be alone if this is one of the most daunting decisions you’ve ever made. Knowing when is the right time to consider moving into a nursing home is a highly individual conundrum, but there are some common elements to consider.

Facing Fears

Unfortunately, due to shocking news stories, when we first consider the future of our loved ones and organising moving into a nursing home, we can trigger more questions than we solve. We worry about what the home will be like; will they be cared for as you would like them to be; will they be happy? These fears are normal, but allaying them will be your first step towards facing the actual question of when to put an elderly parent in a nursing home.

Fears of this nature can quickly be alleviated by visiting, and learning about, nursing homes in your area. When you discover nursing care provision like that provided by Eastleigh, you will be more able to face the decision on timing.

Being Realistic

Very few people realise the intensity, and practical tasks, of caring for the elderly – especially those with nursing needs – in advance of facing them. Therefore, past decisions regarding what you would do regarding a loved one’s care were not based on the reality you now face. Caring for someone with nursing needs is a specialist role that quickly becomes unsustainable when placed solely on the shoulders of well-intentioned family members. However, the complexity of the task often creeps up gradually.

If you are finding it hard to juggle the demands of your own life, with the needs of an elderly parent, then you are not doing anything wrong, or failing. Making the decision to begin the process of moving into a nursing home for your relative will free up your resources to provide the family care they really need, whilst bringing assurance that their nursing and practical needs are met. By acknowledging your limitations you can better serve your elderly loved one.

Signs to Look for that Reveal More Support is Needed

If you feel you need more quantifiable signs that it is time to consider a nursing home, some of the following may be worthwhile markers:

  • A sense of ‘burn-out’ in yourself or other caregivers.
  • Signs of confusion or disorientation in your elderly relative.
  • Concerns about personal safety for either yourself or your elderly relative.
  • Frequent anxious phonecalls, or requests from help.

You may wish to obtain a professional opinion. If you are concerned about your relative then you are entitled to a Care Needs Assessment. Even if you do not intend to use State funding for your relative’s care, the assessment can still provide you with a valuable and experienced opinion. We are always happy to discuss, in confidence, your elderly relative’s care and potential transition to nursing care.

The Crisis

Many of the processes of moving into a nursing home begin with a crisis. If a fall, health problem, or illness has elevated the need for care, we understand you could be facing the decision sooner than you hoped. You are not alone in this situation: it is very common for nursing home moves to be required quickly on the back of a change in circumstances. The transition can still be positive and fully supported to make the timing ‘right’. If you need to arrange an urgent move in to nursing care for your elderly relative, call Eastleigh today.

Be Supported

In making the decision about when to move elderly parents into a nursing home, it is essential that you receive support. One vital avenue of this support is the nursing home itself. Excellent care homes like Eastleigh manage the transition process to support both the future resident, and their family. They have also witnessed and supported many families in the same situation, and can bring expertise and knowledge, which demystifies the process.

Understand What is Possible

Along with the media-fuelled horror stories, not everyone understands what is possible in terms of elderly care, and therefore will underestimate the help and support it brings. Care homes and nursing homes offer different levels of care according to the needs of their residents. When you realise what each can bring to your parent you begin to see the enormous advantages over trying to care for them in their own, or your, home. For example, when you realise that hairdressing and podiatry are offered alongside regular meals and planned activities, as well as nursing care itself, you begin to dispel the myths you may have held about nursing homes.

Your Changing Role

Once you begin to understand all of the above, you suddenly find that making the decision about when to put an elderly parent in a nursing home is less daunting than you feared. What will be left is for you to grow into your changing role: focusing on love, memories, and enjoyment, rather than the burden of practical care.

Moving into a nursing home is an enormous change for the whole family, but it needn’t be a negative one. To see how we can help call us in confidence on 01769 573166.