As your loved ones age, ensuring their well-being becomes a pressing concern. There comes a time when the needs of an older parent may surpass what they get at home.
You could then need to identify the signs that indicate a nursing home is likely the best option for their health and safety.
Bad physical health
One of the primary signs that may show the need for a nursing home is a decline in physical health. If your parent is struggling with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing or moving around the house, it may be an indication that they require more assistance. Chronic health conditions that require ongoing medical attention may also signal the necessity of a higher level of care.
Cognitive decline and memory issues
Cognitive decline, including memory loss and confusion, can be challenging for both the individual and their family. If your parent is experiencing difficulties remembering to take medications, getting lost in familiar surroundings or forgetting important tasks, it may be time to consider a nursing home.
Isolation can have detrimental effects on an older individual’s mental and emotional well-being. If your parent is withdrawing from social activities, neglecting personal relationships and showing signs of loneliness, a nursing home may offer a better environment. Once there, they can engage with peers and receive the social interaction they need for a fulfilling life.
Poor home maintenance
Another red flag is the neglect of home maintenance. If your parent’s living space is consistently cluttered, dirty or in disrepair, it could indicate that they are struggling to manage the demands of daily life. A nursing home can provide an environment where workers ensure a safer and more comfortable living space.
Lastly, if you, as the caregiver, are experiencing overwhelming stress and burnout, it may be an indication that the level of care required exceeds what can be reasonably provided at home. Choosing a nursing home can alleviate the burden on family caregivers and ensure that your parent receives the comprehensive care they need.
1 in 6 Americans are now 65 or older, as of 2020. While the transition to a nursing home may be challenging, prioritizing an elderly parent’s health and safety is important as they navigate the complexities of aging.