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When do I place my spouse in a nursing home?

Usually, we are dealing with crisis situations. Receiving a call from a distressed spouse, who’s spouse is being discharged from a hospital to the nursing home, and states “What do I do, what is a good nursing home, how am I going to pay for the nursing home, and what kind of care will my spouse get?” However, another situation is where the spouse has been the caregiver for a number of years at home or in an assisted living facility, and asks “when do I place my spouse in a nursing home?”

Unfortunately, there is no absolute right or wrong time to place a loved one in nursing home. However, if your spouse requires skilled care, your loved one should be placed in a nursing home. But, if they do not require skilled care, there are signs to help you determine whether or not it is time.

Is your loved one safe at home, if they Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, are they a wander risk, can they be left alone?  Additionally, you may have to questions of yourself. Can I continue with the caregiving, am I burned out, am a physically and totally exhausted, can I continue with help, have I had enough, are your children and friends telling you your spouse should be placed in a nursing home. Therefore, this is no time to be a hero, or make the decisions on emotion or guilt. Consequently, you need to ask yourself if your loved one is declining, and are you are not able to keep your loved one healthy and stable. If your answer is yes, then nursing home care is the best option. However, if your loved one is aging well, are content, safe, and comfortable in home, then there is no reason to move them into a nursing home. Also, remember what is best for you, will be the best for your loved one.

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