How To Deal with Placing Loved Ones in a Nursing Home

Sometimes, the best option for an elderly relative or loved one is to place him in a nursing home. If you don’t have the resources or time to personally care for the elderly, placing him in a nice and secure nursing home can benefit your peace of mind and at the same time ensure his well-being.

  1. Determine why you are placing your loved one in the nursing home and check if there are other options available. Assess why you cannot personally care for your relative. Make sure to exhaust other options before placing your relative in a nursing home. Perhaps there are others who can provide the care that your relative needs. Maybe you can pool together resources to hire a full time nurse.
  2. Let go of the guilt. Once you decide that your relative will be better off in a full time nursing care facility, do not feel bad. You have to take care of your own family and your own needs. If you have very young children, or limited resources, or you do not have the ability to provide the care because you are working, then placing your relative will make sure that he’ll be treated and cared for better than you ever could. This is especially true for relatives with extreme medical conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, which makes it more difficult to care for the relative.
  3. Make a list of what things you need in the nursing home. Base your requirements on the needs of the patient. Determine if you want the home to be within a certain radius of your home. Find out the ratio of patients to health care provider. How many patients will there be per room. What activities do they have.
  4. Determine how you can pay for the nursing care facility. If your loved one had the foresight to purchase a long term care insurance policy. If he does not have an existing policy, you will need to pay for the cost of care out of pocket. Finally, check if your elderly relative is eligible for Medicaid. He must meet certain criteria to be able to qualify.
  5. Research a list of nursing homes in the area you want. Research the Internet for a listing of elderly care homes. Talk to your relative’s doctor to get a referral. Talk to other people you know who have relatives in a home. Get feedback about the condition of the facility and how the caregivers treat the patients. Call and visit the site before you decide on a home. Discuss any specific medical concerns your loved one has.
  6. Plan for the future. Depending on the condition of your loved one, you never know how much time you have left with him. You need to start making arrangement, such as discussing with a lawyer obtaining a power of attorney.
  7. Help him pack his belongings and be there when he moves to his new place. Help him arrange his new room and leave family pictures and other sentimental mementos to help personalize his new space.

Have other family members involved in the decision making process. Explain to your relative why you are doing it and reassure him that it is for the best. If your decision is made from love, then you can release any guilt and frustration. Visit him regularly and keep him involved in the family.


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