Updated March 27, 2023
A few years ago, a local TV personality had a show where he traveled the state and closed out each segment with “This is Chuck Dovish, Traveling Arkansas.” Chuck wasn’t riding with me yesterday, but in his honor, I was keeping the tradition alive by literally traveling Arkansas.
Spending time Traveling Arkansas
Chuck went to scenic locations and photographed stunning landscapes. I, however, traveled to seven different Nursing Homes to meet with various Nursing Home folks. However, my tour allowed me to reconnect with some very nice folks in various parts of the state. They are all doing their part to provide care for aging Seniors who need help. Most every person that I meet says that they never want to go to a Nursing Home. However, when a person really needs 24/7 skilled care, I’m very thankful that there are places that can provide this level of care to all who need it.
Since I’ve been in the business of Elder Law for over 30 years, I’ve been in many Nursing Homes and have visited with many family members who have a Loved One in a Nursing Home. Every time I’m out in the field, it reinforces a few facts of life that I wanted to share with those of you who declining Senior in your life for which you are getting close to making a Nursing Home decision:
- Is the Nursing Home really necessary?
- Have you considered everything?
- Are the proper assessments done?
Is the Nursing Home really necessary?
I often hear the question, “Is a nursing home really necessary?” It’s a valid concern, especially for families who are looking for alternative options for their loved ones. While it’s true that not everyone may need to live in a nursing home, it’s important to understand that there are situations where it can be the best choice for your loved one’s well-being.
For example, if your loved one requires 24/7 medical attention or assistance with daily living activities, a nursing home may be the best option. Nursing homes have trained staff who can provide around-the-clock care, ensuring that your loved one’s needs are met at all times. Additionally, nursing homes often have specialized equipment and facilities to provide medical treatments and therapies that may not be available at home.
Another factor to consider is the social aspect of living in a nursing home. While it may be difficult for some to leave their homes and familiar surroundings, nursing homes can provide a sense of community and companionship that can greatly improve a resident’s quality of life. Residents can participate in various activities and programs, meet new people, and form lasting friendships.
Of course, it’s important to acknowledge that nursing homes are not perfect. There have been instances of abuse and neglect, which is why it’s essential to thoroughly research and visit potential nursing homes before making a decision. However, it’s also important to understand that there are many nursing homes that provide excellent care and support for their residents.
While a nursing home may not be necessary for everyone, it can be a viable option for those who require specialized care or who would benefit from the social aspect of living in a community setting. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons, research potential nursing homes, and make an informed decision that prioritizes your loved one’s well-being.
Have you considered everything?
I understand that deciding on the right living arrangement for an aging parent can be a difficult and emotional decision. While a nursing home may be the best option for some, it’s important to consider all alternatives (and your Loved One’s wishes) before making a decision. Here are some options to consider before choosing a nursing home for your parent:
- In-home care: Depending on your parent’s level of need, in-home care can be a great option. It allows your loved one to stay in the comfort of their own home, while still receiving the necessary care and assistance. In-home caregivers can provide assistance with daily living activities, medication management, and more.
- Assisted living: Assisted living facilities provide a balance between independence and care. Residents have their own apartments or suites, and can receive assistance with daily living activities, medication management, and more. Assisted living facilities also typically offer various amenities and social activities for residents.
- Adult day care: Adult day care centers provide a safe and engaging environment for seniors during the day. This can be a great option for seniors who require supervision or assistance during the day, but do not need 24/7 care.
- Co-housing: Co-housing communities are designed for seniors who want to live in a community setting, but maintain their independence. Residents have their own private living spaces, but also share common areas and amenities.
- Respite care: Respite care provides short-term care for seniors, typically for a few days to a few weeks. This can be a great option for caregivers who need a break or are going out of town.
- Family availability and willingness to serve: Are there family members who can share the burden of the Loved One’s care? The caregiving tasks may be overwhelming for one individual. However, collectively a family may be able to manage swimmingly.
Before deciding on a nursing home for your parent, it’s important to consider all alternatives. In-home care, assisted living, adult day care, co-housing, and respite care are all options that may be a better fit for your loved one’s needs and preferences. Consult with a knowledgeable elder law attorney to help determine the best course of action for your family.
Are the Proper Assessments done?
When considering the best care options for an aging parent whose health is declining, it’s essential to conduct a comprehensive family and medical assessment. This assessment can help identify any physical, cognitive, social, and emotional factors that may be affecting your parent’s health and quality of life. Here are some important factors to consider during this process:
- Medical history: Reviewing your parent’s medical history is crucial in determining their current health status and identifying any existing health conditions that may impact their care needs.
- Physical assessment: Conducting a physical assessment can help identify any physical limitations or mobility issues that may affect your parent’s ability to perform daily activities.
- Cognitive assessment: Assessing your parent’s cognitive function is important in determining their ability to live independently and make informed decisions about their care.
- Social assessment: Understanding your parent’s social support system and living environment is crucial in determining the best care options. This includes assessing their living conditions, community resources, and social connections.
- Financial assessment: A financial assessment can help identify your parent’s ability to pay for care services and determine if any public benefits or financial assistance may be available.
By conducting a comprehensive family and medical assessment, you can gain a better understanding of your parent’s overall health and care needs. This information can help you determine the most appropriate care options, whether it’s in-home care, assisted living, or nursing home care. An experienced elder law attorney can help guide you through this process and provide valuable insight and resources to help ensure the best possible care for your aging parent. Click here for more Clues that Momma may Need Help.
Not a Happy Visit to Mom’s
There is a sad dilemma which plays out in many homes during holiday get-togethers: The kids come home for what they thought would be a short visit – then encounter an emergency situation with their parents.
In some cases, the parent had slowly declined over the past year and had reached a point where a care decision could no longer be delayed. Some decisions, however, to be made now and the kids knew that it had to be made quickly.
Quick decisions were necessary because (1) Mom or Dad’s health required immediate action; (2) the kids had very little time to act; (3) they couldn’t just go back home without doing something.
Many of these kids did take some action such as doing family meetings, seeking immediate medical attention for their declining parent and taking actions to make homes safer.
But they knew they needed to do more and are still struggling with the question of what to do next. It is for this reason that we wrote Mom’s Christmas Shocker. This book discusses the very situation that we discussed herein, which is how to make a difficult decision such as discussed above in a very short period of time.
To read more about Mom’s Christmas Shocker click on this link to go to the page where this book is discussed in greater detail.
Were YOU Shocked During a Recent Visit?
Were you shocked over the Holidays when you visited your parent and realized things are worse than you thought? You have your own life, work and responsibilities. What will you do? Let our eBook help you with your “speed planning”.
We’ve been there & we understand.
That’s why we wrote a book to help you make the best decisions for your parent as quickly as possible.
We want to be friends!
Ok. That might come off a little fast, but you can trust us. We want to help! We fully understand the stress and turmoil that you are facing as Family Caregiver – including personal experiences with burnout.
In our time as caregivers, we have amassed a wealth of knowledge that we desire to pass on. We understand the emotions involved while making necessary decisions. Likewise, we have met many professional caregivers, as well as other family members who were thrust as Family Caregiver. All caregivers have shared the same advice – Join a community! There is nothing more cleansing for our situation than knowing that we are not alone!
We have since created Caregiver Connection. Caregiver Connection is a newsletter that we write personally and send to fellow Caregivers. It is full of tips, tricks, direction and even professional advice. If you would like to sign up, click the button below.
Please Invite Someone to Our Newsletter
Being an Adult Kid who is helping mom as she is declining can be a scary, frustrating and lonely place lacking stability. You feel like you are solely responsible for solving Mom’s problems while managing yours. Some occasional input and a community you can trust would help, especially when facing burnout! This is a way that all of us can be working together as caregivers!
Many others that you may personally know are having to figure it all out by themselves. Most of them have no community. Please take a minute and do them a favor. Copy this link ~> help.mom/cc <~ and send it to them in an email or private message. They can click on it and subscribe to our newsletter for free.
Then they can enjoy weekly tips and encouragement. They no longer have to feel so alone in their family caregiver journey. They will appreciate the favor! Thank you for thinking of them!
Nothing herein is intended to be legal advice. These are just things that we have seen various families try when struggling with this difficult issue. Each situation is unique and requires specific professional assistance to resolve. Please contact your local medical or legal advisors to seek assistance in appropriately resolving this issue for your family.