If you have elderly parents, you should understand the difference between nursing homes and assisted living facilities. While nursing homes offer skilled medical care, assisted living facilities tend only to help with basic needs, such as bathing or eating.
You do not want to place your aging parents into the wrong facility, of course. Fortunately, watching for some signs may tell you when it is time to move your parents into a nursing home.
Severe physical decline
Most commonly, individuals choose to place their parents in nursing homes because of severe physical decline. This decline may happen over time or suddenly as the result of a serious injury or illness. Put simply, if your parents’ physical health requires round-the-clock medical care, they probably belong in a nursing home.
Major cognitive difficulties
Often, aging individuals remain physically strong while their cognitive abilities wane. While an assisted living facility may be appropriate for minor cognitive difficulties, managing major ones probably requires the assistance of medical professionals at the nursing home.
The burden of long-term care
It is not uncommon for those with elderly parents to attempt to provide care before moving them into a nursing home. If you go this route, you should pay special attention to both your and your parents’ needs. If you cannot provide the care your mother and father require, you may have little choice but to rely on a nursing home.
Choosing to move your parents into a nursing home is likely to be one of the more difficult decisions you ever make. Ultimately, though, by acting before matters worsen, you may improve your mother’s and father’s quality of life considerably.