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  • Writer's pictureAlan D. Feller, Esq.

How Can I Tell When a Loved One Needs Nursing Home Care?

Sometimes, the non-verbal cues scream the loudest. Bad posture, unsettling body language or far away looks will tip off a spouse or adult child that their loved one is having real difficulties at home. The familiarity of one’s house may not compensate for the negatives that start to pile up once that person’s independence fades away. Home care works when the environment and the support system operate well with the type of disability a loved one is experiencing. When these three elements do not mesh then families should consider a different residence arrangement.

The frustrations of dementia may cause noticeable behavioral changes. Physical expressions like swinging or hitting will adversely impact caregiving in the home. Outbursts and anger also will breakdown a caregiver’s ability to provide proper attention. Whether the caregiver is a spouse, child or aide the difficulties associated with Dementia can push families towards considering a nursing home option.

In pre-Covid times, home care with coordinated adult day programs reduced social isolation and loneliness. Seniors who choose or are unable to attend day programs and do not have friends or family nearby may feel lonely or helpless. Social isolation can sap energy and this type of listlessness will be noticeable to an adult child attuned to their parents’ body language. Some seniors thrive socially in nursing homes and find a range of people to connect with and cherish their daily interactions.

Stairs are problems for those with limited mobility. Stair lifts or one floor living arrangements offer some relief, but in multi-level homes there are logistical hurdles that can be difficult to overcome, especially if someone requires dialysis and is constantly being transported up, down and out. Apartments require less maintenance then a large suburban home. Appliances break, a roof leaks, a hornet nest appears and a toilet overflows. How many times will an adult child drop everything and rush over to save the day?

Even if a home is well-suited to the person and their disability, if there is little or no support system close by to troubleshoot and check-in, there will be gaps in care or laundry. Your father lives in New York, but you live in North Carolina. As his needs increase his reliance on you to organize his life also increases.

The goal that families seek for a loved one experiencing the ups and downs of aging is for that person to remain at home while receiving long term care. Home Care aides coupled with the myriad of services for the homebound and disabled can provide enough support to maintain someone in their home. Nursing Homes offer a controlled setting with supervision, meals, medicine and degrees of socialization. A change in residence may have to be made to adjust to new realities. There may not be one triggering event, but signs of trouble will become apparent over time. If loved ones or their caregivers are sinking then the ship has to be righted. A Nursing Home is one option that can offer balance. Speak to the professionals at Sloan and Feller today for more information.



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