September 29, 2000
Choosing A Nursing Home
By: Gail R Mitchell
Many Caregivers have grown up thinking that
they would never want to place their loved
one into a nursing home. The decision is
probably one of the hardest ones you will
ever have to face in your lifetime.
Unfortunately life doesn't always go the
way you would like it to. You may have
promised your loved one that you would not
place them in a nursing home and you and
you may even feel like a failure for no
longer being able to care for them. However,
when you are no longer able to care 24/7
because you may be burned out, your loved
one has a chronic illness that does not
require hospitalization but needs supervision
and care, reality kicks in and the need may
be upon you to make a choice. For some
of you, there may not be a choice. Your
loved one may be transferred from the
hospital directly into a nursing home following
an operation, sudden illness or an accident
As people age, their needs are constantly
undergoing change. The purpose of a nursing
home is to help people care for themselves
and to assist them until their final days.
Skilled 24 hour nursing care and medical
supervision is required usually when a patient
is taken directly from a hospital because
they are recovering from a surgery or major
treatment. Custodial care means they are in
need of care because they cannot live
independently due to a serious chronic illness
or a disability. They might not require skilled
nursing and medical attention but they do
need full time care and supervision.
It is best to retrieve information on nursing
home facilities by referrals or recommendations
from physicians, home care professionals,
geriatric care managers, social workers,
hospital staff, friends, and clergy. You can
also check through the Eldercare Locator,
professional and consumer service
organizations, your state or local health
department and the department of aging.
Nursing Homes Provide:
·Room and board, skilled nursing
·Medical services (nurses and doctors)
·Rehabilitation (therapies and counseling,
such as speech, psychological and
·Provide opportunities for recreation and
Some questions you may ask yourself,
your loved one and also family members
who may be involved in this decision are
·Can I continue to provide the needs for our
loved one on a 24-hour basis?
·Am I able to provide the quality of care
·Am I jeopardizing my own health and/or
the needs of my own family?
·In your current living arrangement does
your loved one miss or want more social
·Does your loved one have a pet?
·Are they chronically ill where they require
intensive care but not hospitalization?
·Do they require help with their daily living
activities such as bathing, dressing,
eating and using the toilet?
·What do your finances permit for?
·What does Medicare and their health
·What does their long-term care (LTC)
·Would my relationship with my loved
one improve if they are placed in a facility?
·Have the patient's doctors and homecare
professionals recommended your loved
one be placed into a nursing home?
Next week, the conclusion will be posted. It
will include the following:
·Considerations to look for when choosing
a nursing home
·Nursing Home Evaluation Form
·Nursing Home Residents' Bill Of Rights
We look forward to the opportunity
of serving you. We welcome your
comments, suggestions, and questions.
Please feel free to contact us at:
Boomers' Caregiver's Main Page
Boomers' Caregiver's Articles
Gail's Web Site :
Welcome to Boomers International.