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When Should You Consider a Care Home for a Relative?

October 26th 2018

Putting a relative into a care home is a devastating decision that we don’t take lightly, and one that most will try to avoid at all costs. However, the rapidly ageing population means that more and more people are requiring the services of a residential care home.

In this day and age, giving up your job to look after your parent is just not viable in the majority of cases. People need to work to pay for homes, bills and general living expenses, excluding the fact that many of you will have dependents of your own to look after at home.  We still help in every which way we can, doing their food shopping, cooking their meals, laundry, cleaning and general housekeeping.

But, if your parent or relative requires 24-hour care, the only real avenue to explore is finding them a place in a residential nursing care home and you shouldn’t feel guilty about doing so. By the time you have decided to view local care homes, it is often the SAFEST place for your parent or relative, and it can sometimes give them a new lease of freedom and company.

Unfortunately, there are no set guidelines to dictate whether it is the appropriate time to apply for a nursing home place for a loved one, but there some indicators to look out for that might signal if your relative will be safer and receiving the level of care they NEED in a residential care facility:

If your relative becomes mostly dependent on you for personal care

Residential homes are care homes that can significantly help your relative with personal care and everyday tasks without the need of offering nursing care too.

Sometimes, as our relatives get older, they lose the ability to complete basic daily tasks such as getting up the stairs, getting washed and dressed, cooking food and so on. If the immediate family go to work every day, it is too dangerous to leave somebody in the house unaccompanied when they are unable to take themselves to the toilet or get a drink when they are thirsty.

If they are otherwise in good health they won’t necessitate specialist nursing care, therefore a residential care home is the perfect happy medium and can help them to regain some independence.

If your relative has become a hazard unto themselves

If your relative is becoming a hazard to themselves or a spouse also living in the house, it might be the time to consider local nursing homes. Everyday example circumstances of relatives become a danger to themselves include leaving the kitchen gas on and forgetting, wandering in the middle of the night or even an increased number of falls might mean that their house is no longer the best environment for them.  

If you become worried about the safety of your relative, or their husband or wife also living in the house, it might be a good time to look at the possibility of an elderly home.

If your relative wanders out of the house and becomes lost

An elderly relative wandering out of the house late at night or even in daylight and becoming lost is a scary situation for yourself, but it is also extremely distressing for your relative. This is more common in dementia sufferers, but it can also happen in a moment of daze and confusion.

If this becomes a regular occurrence, or if your relative has already had a dementia diagnosis, dementia care homes might be their safest bet as dementia homes are secure and with constant supervision and surveillance.

If your relatives home isn’t suitable for their health needs

There might come a time when your relative’s home is no longer suitable or comfortable for their needs. If they become unable to climb the stairs, get into their shower, bath or even find it difficult to use the toilet comfortably, it may mean that their home is no longer suitable for their health needs and it might be an ideal time to consider an elderly care home for your relative. They will be able to wander around their home comfortably, gain a sense of freedom and have regular company.

If the situation is affecting other elderly relatives, a husband or wife, for example

If your relative's health situation is beginning to physically or mentally affect their spouse, for example, it can end up being detrimental to both parties if you don’t take advantage of your local nursing home facilities. An elderly relative taking care of another can be both a physical and mental strain on them, and although they want to do all they can to help, it becomes unfair to both parties but it is also a dangerous situation and so we would advise finding a suitable home for the elderly relative.

If being a carer is affecting your career, your own home life or your health

We all want to do the best by our parents and look after them all we can, but unfortunately, they are not always our only dependent. If you are still working to fund a mortgage, to pay rent or to feed yourself and your children your career can’t always take a step back. For most of us, it is crucial that we work to pay bills and look after our family so if looking after your relative is starting to affect this, you should look into long-term care homes. Similarly, on more than a financial level, you might not be able to find people to look after your children, pick them up from school, cook for them etc. and in these circumstances, you will need to be home and taking care of your own home life as much as possible.

If a doctor or medical professional have strongly advised residential care

Doctors and medical professionals don’t advise or recommend nursing care homes unless they think it is necessary. Therefore, if the time comes that a doctor suggests a residential care home, it is worth listening to the reasoning. It is usually in hazardous situations when a medical professional will step in, for example, if your relative has dementia that is advancing, a dementia nursing home will be advised. A skilled nursing facility is a safest and most beneficial situation for your relative, so don’t be afraid to ask for help from a dementia care home.



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