As a child with an aging parent, you may be wondering when it is time to discuss moving into a nursing home. Ideally, this topic will come up long before the need arises, so that you already have a plan of action put in place. Since there is no set age to determine when it is time to make the move, you have to know what signs to look for.
Decline In Hygiene
If your parent is not bathing regularly or is unable to successfully to manage their incontinence, then it is certainly time for a change. This does not necessarily mean moving into a nursing home is the only option. For example, you or a caregiver could visit a few days a week to help your parent bathe. You could also invest in the appropriate toileting and incontinent tools and supplies.
Decline In Mobility
Just as with a decline in hygiene, there are many steps you can take to improve your parents’ home, once they begin to experience a decline in mobility. This includes installing or improving the ramp, walkway, or stairs on the exterior and interior of the home or building. You can also install grab bars, a raised toilet seat, and a raised shower chair. For general mobility, a cane, walker, or wheelchair can go a long way. However, there will come a time when getting around solo simply is not safe anymore.
Decline In Memory
Unlike a decline in mobility or hygiene, there are not as many fast and easy changes that can improve safety with a decline in memory. If your parent lives with friends, family, or a spouse, then you can place childproof locks on faucets, doors, cupboards, and cabinets. You can remove the knobs from the oven and stove. You can even install specialty locks on the front or back doors to make sure they do not wander out of the house. However, even with these adjustments, their decline in memory will make outings more challenging. Being alone at home will become impossible, and their need for monitoring will do nothing but continue to increase.
Moving Into A Nursing Home—Parent Specific Signs
Also keep an eye out for signs that are specific to your mom or dad. For example, if your parent has always kept an impeccable home, but it is no longer well-kept, then the basic household work may have become too much to manage. Or if they are no longer able to cook or feed themselves, then it may be another indicator that a major change is required.
These are just a handful of signs that it may be time to discuss moving into a nursing home. Sometimes, the decline will be rapid, but sometimes, it is gradual—so you must keep a close eye.