“We promised Mum never to put her in a nursing home.”

We often here from the son or daughter, “We promised Mum never to put her in a nursing home.” Unfortunately, this promise you may not be able to fulfill, because of the care required and the longevity of life. The old, dark and institutional care setting of nursing homes has changed. The financial issues of elder care i.e. running out of money make the nursing home a necessity. Especially, when Mum requires skilled nursing or cannot perform the basic activities of daily living.

We see on numerous occasions, that one spouse is providing the care for the other. However, the care is usually, insufficient because of medication errors, neglect and unsanitary housekeeping. These issues are not intentional but the caregiving spouse is burned out, mentally and physically. However, they strive to keep their independence, but out of guilt or emotional flaws.  

Frequently, when a person is removed from the spouse caregiving environment, they will often recuperate in an assisted living facility or nursing home environment. Because of the regular issuance of medications, social interactions, bathing and regular meals etc. can help lift the person’s spirits.

Therefore, honoring their aging loved one by letting them stay at home, even though the signs of neglect are apparent, is outrageous. Unfortunately, most families wait for too long before they insist on either home health care or facility placement. Additionally, the financial issue is a major hurdle. The average social security award is approximately $1,050. This does not go far, when an assisted living facility can cost $4,000 to $8,000, or a nursing home costs from $7,000 to $12,000 per month, or even home health care can cost on an average $20 per hour.

Therefore, many families cannot afford to keep their loved ones in their own home with a part time caregiver or an assisted living facility, never mind the nursing home.

Most adult children, who are caring for their elderly parents, are also trying to perform a job, help their children through college, and trying to maintain their marriage. If the adult child stops working to care for their parents, financial concerns about paying their bills, retirement and foreclosure issues appear. Also, if you bring a parent(s) to live with you, issues such as medical or emotional needs may be beyond your capacity to manage, sundowner syndrome, falling, wandering, pose a predicament. When some people experience dementia or other medical issues, they may stay awake all night.

How do seniors and their families make difficult choices about elder care?

Senior Life Care Planning has care coordinators who can offer independent advice and opinions based on the elder’s location on the elder care continuum. We, also offer advice about appropriate placement of an elder or even suggest how to set up services in the home to best meet the elder’s needs.

If you are considering hiring a home health aide/company or moving a loved one into an assisted living facility or a nursing home, please call our qualified professional staff who can determine the current medical/psychological and financial needs. Therefore, we can anticipate the potential future needs and solutions. With our thoughtful, realistic planning, caring for an elder does not have to be a financial or emotional nightmare. We, help you make the right choices for you and your loved one, you are not alone!

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