Does My Parent Need a Nursing Home?

How do you know a parent needs more help than you can give? Here’s how to tell when they need a nursing home.

Sometimes, it’s easy to see the signs. Maybe your parent experienced a fall or received advice from her physician that it’s time to consider a nursing home. But, sometimes the signs are tougher to see.

You may notice your mom forgot to lock her front door once or twice, or forgot to turn off the stove. Maybe your dad forgot to take his medicine a few times last month. It can be difficult to identify a shift in a senior’s ability to care for herself, or a physical or cognitive decline. So how do you know when these are signs that they need full-time care?

Does My Parent Need a Nursing Home?
Some common signs that may suggest your parent could benefit from a nursing home can include:

  • Needing reminders to take medication
  • Noticeable weight loss or gain
  • Loss of mobility or increase in falls
  • Signs of neglecting household maintenance
  • No longer able to perform daily tasks, such as grooming or preparing meals
  • Increased isolation
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
Many elder care communities offer specialized neighborhoods for residents with dementia. Signs that your parent might need memory care include:
  • Exhibiting aggressive behaviors
  • Becoming disoriented or getting lost
  • Repeating stories or questions
  • Problems speaking or struggling to find the right words
  • Difficulty planning, concentrating or organizing
  • An Alzheimer’s/dementia diagnosis or cognitive decline that requires 24-hour supervision
If your loved one is recovering from an injury or surgery, skilled nursing communities can provide short- and long-term rehabilitative care. This can be beneficial for seniors who need post-operative strength and conditioning due to minor and routine surgeries, such as joint replacements. Skilled nursing can also assist with recovery from illness, stroke or a fall.

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