3 steps to take before turning to a nursing home for help

People don't usually like thinking about a time when their parents need to go into a nursing home. It means that their loved ones are aging and coming to a point when they may no longer be able to do things for themselves.

If that's the point your parents are reaching, it's important to begin asking the right questions about nursing homes and doing your research. What should you do before you choose a home? How can you make the transition easier? Here are a few things to consider.

1. Do your research

Every state is required to keep tabs on the nursing home facilities. States have information on the homes with the best and worst records. It is important to do your research to prevent your loved one from ending up in a nursing home that may not be as good as you'd hope.

On top of research, it's a good idea to visit the nursing home. If your parent is coherent and able to help make the decision on where to move, take him or her with you to make sure the facility is up to his or her standards.

2. Avoid making promises to your mom or dad

If your mom or dad is against moving into a nursing home, don't try to coerce him or her into moving in by lying or making promises you can't keep. For example, don't claim that this is only a short-term change if the intention is to keep your mom or dad there permanently. Don't make a claim that you'll visit every day if you don't have the time to do so. If you do, you'll only make the transition harder.

3. Talk to your mom's or dad's medical provider

Before turning to a nursing home, you may want to talk to your mom's or dad's physician about his or her current state of health. If the doctor believes assisted living will suffice, this could be a better choice than a nursing home. You may even want to look into a facility that offers both assisted living and nursing home care, so your mom or dad can transition easier if necessary in the future.

These are just a few things to think about when nursing home care is on the table. Choosing carefully can help you avoid conflicts or trouble in the future.

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