Choosing the Perfect Nursing Home for Your Loved One

Aging accompanies various changes that sometimes require modifying living arrangements. More so if the senior is experiencing health problems aside from the difficulties in attending to activities of daily living. Even if elders value their independence, there will come a time when they need to rely on other people for much needed help. Where to spend their remaining years would be a major concern. There are many available living facilities designed to provide senior care but the choice depends on the needs and the financial capability the seniors.

As you ponder on the perfect place to age for your parents, one of the better choices you have is a nursing home equipped with hospital-like facilities and home-like care. When is the proper time for your loved ones to consider a nursing home? Here are some aspects that your elder needs to go into a nursing home:

  • Your elder lives alone or both parents live on their own but couldn’t take care of each other and living with any of their children is not feasible
  • Into heavy medication that needs 24 hours supervision
  • In the late stage of dementia
  • Depends entirely on others for most of hygiene and personal grooming
  • Basic chores are left undone and even cooking poses a danger
  • Have mobility problems
  • Unable to drive and run errands

When you have decided that a nursing home is better than any other living arrangement, you should look for one that suits their needs and also advantageous to your family’s concern.

With a Home-Like Facility

If your elder has a choice, he might opt to age at home and leaving it is quite overwhelming because home is where memories are. Thus, it’s your responsibility to look for a nursing home where the ambience is more similar, if not exactly the same, to their home. You should try to look for a nursing home where they can feel a sense of familiarity of their own home. It shouldn’t resemble a hospital so that the transition would be easier.

Provides Physical and Medical Assistance 24/7

It’s very important that the nursing home you choose has easy access to all the needs of your elder. If your loved one needs a companion for a walk or simply needs a hand in bathing, there’s someone to turn to. If your elder is in regular medication, you’ll have peace of mind that somebody will remind him to take the right pill at the right time. In time of pain, discomfort or emergency, there’s a team of skilled people that could provide fast attention.

With Special Care Units

If your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or any other forms of dementia, look into the future for long term care. There will come a time where he will be totally dependent so you should search for a nursing home with special care units for these types of disorders. Your potential nursing home should be equipped with highly-skilled personnel when specialized attention is needed.

Provides Various Programs for Socialization and Entertainment

One misconception about nursing homes is the idea of confinement and isolation especially when family and friends visit rarely. You must look for a nursing home that provides a wide range of program for socialization. Loneliness is one of the hard battles most seniors try to overcome and entertainment even for a short time enables them to forget their pain and worries.

Provides Programs for Physical Health

As much as possible, you should try to look for a nursing home that encourages freedom of movement. Even a small park for walking or a small space for gardening will inspire elders to move about and exercise their deteriorating motor skills.

Make the aging life of your elder as comfortable as possible. If it’s impractical for you to care for your loved one in your own home, provide him a nursing home that could give all the comfort and care he needs.

Dementia Care

Just like any other diseases that are diagnosed at the later stage, dementia is one disorder that is overwhelming and very hard to cope with unless you’re prepared for it. With not so much attention given to its awareness, most people are oblivious of what proper care should be accorded to a loved one detected with dementia.

Since dementia is a heartbreaking disease, the earlier you prepare for it, the easier it would be to overcome the physical, emotional and financial demands associated with the disorder. If any members of your family reach the age of 65 or even less, be sensitive of their habits and practives. Any deviation from the norms should trigger the family to consult medical help for early diagnosis. Particularly, watch out for the warning signs of dementia:

  • Unusual loss of memory or job skills: If your elder is a carpenter, he might exhibit difficulty in distinguishing a saw from a hammer
  • Difficulty in performing simple tasks such as dressing, washing, putting on shoes or grooming
  • Problems with language: They could hardly finish a word and they easily get angry when you try to finish the word for them
  • Poor judgment: If they try to withdraw money from ATM and the next person tells them to give the money, they probably would
  • Problems with abstract thinking: 5W questions are difficult to understand and hard to answer
  • Different mood swings that sometimes lead to violence and aggression
  • Change in behavior and loss of initiative: You have to urge them to get up from bed and do some exercise
  • Disoriented about time, day and place that even if they are at home, they get confused of where they are
  • Problems with names even of the immediate family: Sometimes, they call their wives their mothers

If you detect any of the signs with your elder, report the symptoms to your doctor as soon as possible and schedule for a regular checkup. Ask family members of their observations and make a list of memory, behavior and physical concerns. Take charge by learning much about dementia and educate the rest of the family as well. You will better plan and make life easier for your elder and your family if you understand more about dementia.

How would your family deal with the challenge of dementia? Once your elder is diagnosed with the disorder, gather the whole family and discuss several concerns and prepare them of the changes that would inevitably happen within the household. Dementia care doesn’t only involve one relative or a caregiver but rather a team with family members as primary overseers.

While coping with dementia is a challenge, you can ease some burden with the following strategies as you and your family journey through the trial:

  • Create a dementia-friendly environment. Encourage family members to foster a joyful atmosphere inside the house. Remove clutters and obstacles that would court trip and fall. Fill the house with pictures and familiar objects. Make necessary house modifications to cater for future needs.
  • Make important decisions early. While your elder can still think clearly, discuss with him about his medical plans, financial concerns, legal matters and if possible ask him to make a living will. Do it in such a way that he won’t feel offended.
  • Choose a caregiver together. Encourage your elder to participate in selecting a trained assistant through interview. Your elder might find peace of mind knowing that a compassionate caregiver would be his companion.
  • Look for games, gadgets and aids that would stimulate memory and thinking. These would somehow help delay the progress of dementia.

Make the life of your loved one with dementia as joyful and comfortable as possible. Even when he is in the stage where no single memory is retained, your love and concern would definitely provide a sense of security and consolation in his dwindling existence.