In an ideal world, our ageing loved ones would remain independently living in their own homes until quietly and peacefully passing on in their sleep. The reality is, however, that many of our elderly reach a point where they simply can’t safely care for their own needs anymore. Is it time for the transition to a nursing home?
First of all, it’s important to get a clear assessment of where things stand in regards to your loved one’s functioning and safety. Look at their ability to perform ADL’s, or activities of daily living. These include things like bathing, getting dressed, preparing food, and feeding themselves. The key factor to keep in mind when looking at these things is, not simply if your loved one can do them, but if they can be performed safely. Also honestly look at more general things like balance, willingness and ability to properly use assistive devices (do they refuse to use their walker?), memory, and mentation.
Next, examine other options. Is in-home care a possibility? Does your loved one just need someone to stop by occasionally and help out with the shopping, or do they really need someone there around the clock helping with most cares? An alert and oriented elderly person who needs help with a few daily chores may benefit most from an assisted living facility.
There is a dazzling array of possibilities, and the process can seem overwhelming and confusing, particularly when making such an emotional decision. Enlisting the services of a senior living consultant can help you to navigate the options available and help you to choose the most appropriate one.
If the decision is made to transition your loved one to a nursing home, do everything you can to make it a positive change. By being present and involved in this new chapter of their lives, you can ensure that they will receive the love, care, and attention that they truly deserve.