Virtually no one wants to place a loved one in a nursing facility. But what if you have to work full-time and can’t provide the required 24/7 care? What if you can’t afford an in-home care service that could help you out? Or what can you do if your loved one becomes too combative to manage?
You and your loved one aren’t the only people in the equation. Family members may argue strenuously against any decision you make. They may try to make you feel guilty enough to give up any plans for institutionalization.
Sometimes nursing home placement is the best (or even only) solution for your benefit and the benefit of the person you’re caring for. But many people feel like institutionalizing their loved one is a cop out – virtually a crime.
If you do it you may feel terribly guilty. But if the person really needs to be in a facility for his or her own safety and well-being you may end up feeling even more guilty if you don’t do it. If something happens to your loved one – such as wandering off or sustaining an injury from a fire or other hazard – you’ll never forgive yourself.
Ask yourself two questions: 1) Would being in a facility provide your loved one with better care, more personal attention, more opportunities for socialization and – especially – greater safety? and 2) Is taking care of the person at home wrecking your own physical and mental health? If you answered “yes” to either one of these questions it may be time to start looking for a good facility.
People with Alzheimer’s placed in nursing homes typically adjust in time and often later forget they were even moved in the first place.
If you decide not to do it, just remember that Alzheimer’s is progressive. You may need to revisit the issue later on.