When we found out that my mom was experiencing signs of dementia, we didn't take the news lightly. We were concerned about her well-being, and I knew that she couldn't keep living on her own. To keep her safe, I decided to enroll her in a nursing home that specialized in mental health care. She was concerned about the change at first, but as soon as she moved in, she only had positive things to say about her new digs. She loved the ability to get in touch with doctors the same day, and she was even able to make a few friends along the way. This blog is all about keeping your parents safe, happy and healthy.
The availability of skilled nursing care allows some people with medical concerns to stay in their home longer. In some cases, however, in-home care might not be the best choice, and going into a nursing home may provide a better level of care.
Your Loved One's Preference
Whenever possible, you should make your decision based on your loved one's preferences. Most people would prefer to stay in their home and receive skilled nursing care. Unfortunately, this is not always an option. In some cases, your loved one may need significant, ongoing care that is difficult to provide in-home. Money and insurance coverage may also be a concern. Insurance coverage may be limited for in-home services, which can force people to make the choice to enter a nursing home or other long-term care facility. If you or your loved one do not own the current residence, in-home skilled nursing will be more practical than spending several months or more in a new care setting while trying to continue paying rent at home.
The Underlying Problem
Nursing homes can be an underutilized service because they are often considered permanent, which is not always true. Many nursing homes offer rehabilitation and short-term care for a wide range of medical concerns. Some underlying medical problems that warrant skilled nursing services are simply easier to do in a nursing home environment. For example, post-stroke recovery or the rehabilitative process after a major joint replacement can warrant short-term care in a nursing home. Since people in both situations will require significant rehabilitation, this can be done on-site without any concerns about transporting the person to and from rehab or modifying their existing residence to accommodate potentially temporary limitations.
Although the primary concern may be handled at home by regular visits from a nurse, there may be complicating ailments that can make the situation more serious. Someone with diabetes, especially instances in which the condition is difficult to control, might be prone to ulcers, infections, and need their blood glucose and food strictly monitored. In-home care around the clock may not be practical, especially when these services could be provided in a nursing home. If loved one is dealing with a condition that is expected to become worse over time, you might feel like making the transition to a long-term care facility is better to do earlier rather than later in the process.
Choosing between in-home nursing care and skilled nursing homes is not an easy decision. Ultimately, the right choice will be the one that best meets the ongoing needs of your loved one.