Caring for an aging parent, spouse or elderly loved one is an emotional undertaking. People can be very strong in their beliefs as to what is right and wrong. One issue people debate is the quality of care people receive in an assisted living or a nursing home compared to the care they receive staying in their home.
For many people there is no choice in the matter – their loved one will stay home no matter what. They strongly believe that this is the best and only solution for their loved one’s long term care needs.
For others – what I believe is a majority of people (or at least the majority of those I’ve helped over the years) – staying home is not an option. For whatever reason their loved one can’t or doesn’t want to stay home and must move into an assisted living or nursing home community.
I’ve seen many people have a wonderful, enriching time in an assisted living community or a nursing home. Often someone’s quality of life will improve in the new environment. On the other hand, I’ve seen people struggle in their new surroundings. Usually, however, people are able to adjust to their new living environment and given enough time they eventually thrive. Also, many times the relationship between the elderly loved one and their family improves because the family can visit and spend quality time with them instead of providing hands on care. In the right situation – and there are many right situations – everyone’s quality of life can improve.
As for those who insist their loved ones must stay home – those who believe that is the only appropriate option – they deserve a lot of credit. Many of them go above and beyond to provide the best care possible for their loved one. In most situations things work out really well – not always (just like in an assisted living or nursing home) – but most of the time.
The bottom line is everyone should consider their loved one’s personal situation and make a decision that will provide them with the best possible care given their needs, their resources and the caregiver’s ability to provide care (or coordinate their care).
If staying home is an option and everyone in the process believes it will provide their loved one with the highest possible quality of life then do what’s necessary to help them stay home. However, if staying home isn’t an option – for whatever reason – help them find the best possible assisted living or nursing home and support them in their new environment.
I hope everyone is able to find the care they need in the most appropriate place – wherever that might be.
Thanks so much and all the best!