Is it time for a nursing home? It may be just what's needed
You've been caring four your Dad for several years and you realize that it may be time for a nursing home.
Don't look at it like it's something you're doing to them but something you're doing for them.
It's something many of us have heard our parents say... don't ever put me in a nursing home... to which you reply. I won't
Fast forward a decade or so. Your Dad now suffers from Alzheimer's, you've cared for him in your home for as long as you can. You're physically exhausted and mentally fried.
There's a nursing home near you, it's a spacious, cheerful and you've heard good things about it.
You think of putting your Dad on the waiting list so that he could have professional care he needs and you could work on your own health along with seeing him as often as you wish. But, the elephant in the room is that promise you made years ago. "I'll never put you in a nursing home."
However, the most important thing to consider is that you must provide your loved ones with the best care possible under the circumstances that they - and you - face. That, my friends, is the "spirit of the promise that you made".
What you must do now is look at the facts and ask yourself the following questions;
- Is your Dad safe under your care? Can you stay completely awake and alert 24/7 in case he uncharacteristically wanders? Think of the guilt you'd feel if he walked off when you were sleeping and got hurt or lost. That would rip your heart out more than obtaining help with his care ever could.
- Is your Dad getting the peer interaction he needs? He and you are together day and night but does he see any of his friends?
- Are you spending most of your time providing physical care or do you have time to be a "daughter" and laugh, hug and spend quality time with your Dad?
- How about your own health? Is your energy completely drained? are you filled with stress? Do you take time to meet with friends or exercise? Are you eating properly? These are signs that you may be completely ignoring your own well being.
Will any nursing home be perfect? No. That's where family comes in. Visit often. Bring in special treats that go beyond what the nursing home can be expected to provide. Save that ever important listening ear for your Dad. Those are very caring things that you can still do.
Remember, the most important thing is to ensure that your loved one receives the care they need - at a facility, your loved one will receive the care they need 24 hours a day seven days a week from professional trained staff members.
While it may be sooner than you wanted, it may also be later than you should have - a nursing home may eventually be the best place for your loved one.