Deciding Nursing Home Placement or In Home Care

When aging adults and their families are considering long-term care options, they may find themselves weighing the pros and cons of a nursing home versus aging in place with home care. Learn about the things to consider when making this important decision for your aging loved one.

Deciding Nursing Home Placement or In Home Care
Nursing Home Care vs In Home Care

by Mary Blake

(Harrisburg, Pa)

Considering home care vs. nursing home, hoping to see helpful posts.

Thanks Mary for this great question

I am going to get the ball rolling and provide my perspective of the many things a family should consider... when evaluating home care or nursing home.

First, let’s start with having a family communication meeting... to discuss what the long and short term goals are of all involved. The wishes of the senior family member needs to be considered at this time.

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    It is important to prepare for this meeting by doing research. Many, I will say most, caregivers never know they are agreeing to do.

    Caregiving can last as long as 20 years. Our parents are living longer. Many caregivers are financially affected. They become socially isolated. And experience poor health due to caregiver stress and guilt.

    I suggest that the primary caregiver become familiar with a family caregiver contract.

    Setting boundaries and limits... expressing expectations and goals.. early on in the caregiving process sets the tone for the future.

    Everyone has expectations and boundaries from the start. Every family member knows what they will or will not do. For example... I will care for mom until... she becomes incontinent of her bowel or bladder... becomes physically aggressive, sexually acts out etc.

    There are many behaviors that an aging parent may exhibit that you may never anticipate.

    There are other things that family caregiver needs to consider:

    Maintaining outside relationships

    The impact caregiving may have on your home life, your job.

    These are things that most caregivers never consider... when thinking about home care versus nursing home placement.

    Considering Long Term Care Options?

    When aging adults and their families are considering long-term care options, they may find themselves weighing the pros and cons of a nursing home versus aging in place (e.g. receiving at-home care). Nursing homes provide around-the-clock medical supervision, with access to specialists such as physical therapists and occupational therapists who can develop an individualized treatment plan. Nursing homes also offer socialization opportunities, with activities and amenities designed to provide a comfortable living environment for aging adults.

    On the other hand, aging in place with non-medical home care may be attractive option for those who prefer to remain in their own home. This type of care allows aging adults to maintain independence while receiving the help they need with activities of daily living, such as meal preparation and medication reminders. A non-medical home care provider can provide companionship, transportation to appointments, and assistance with errands or other tasks that may become more difficult to manage as aging adults get older.

    Ultimately, the choice between a nursing home and aging in place with home care will depend on the individual needs and preferences of aging adults, as well as their families. It is important to weigh all of the options carefully before making a decision that is right for you or your aging loved one.

    If you would like more information about how to decide between a nursing home and aging in place with non-medical home care, please do not hesitate to reach out. Our team is here to help you explore the best option for your aging loved one.

    Wow, you didn’t think I would suggest that you take YOU into consideration did you? Well, my friend, you are a very important part of the equation.

    While I am a very strong supporter of aging in place,... I do not think it should be done at the expense of some one else’s family or life. Many care givers become socially isolated ... and forget that one day care giving will end and they will have their life back.

    As part of planning for home care versus nursing home placement handling care giver stress is a key to success.

    I have given you a lot to think about as far as home care versus nursing home placement.

    None of it addressed the things to look for as far as in home care and nursing homes or when to initiate care.

    The above information is so important to consider first.

    Then, when to start and learn about the different types of in home care is the next step. This website will be helpful if you choose to look for help with in home care. Use the Home Health Care Agencies Directory to find help. It is a listing of health care agencies in each state.

    I hope that others will add to this and it will become more comprehensive. I think we are off to a good start.

    Diane Carbo RN

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    Have a story about making the decision to place in a nursing home or assisted living? Please share here? Help others realize that they are not alone. Submit Your Caregiver Story
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