What does your loved one like about living in a nursing home?

Started by

Nursing home living is not always negative, some people really love it.


I know you asked about nursing homes, but it depends on what one considers to be a nursing home. Some Assisted Living places people will say "nursing homes".

My Dad recently moved into Independent Living which has Assisted Living options. He said he wished he would have moved there long time ago, as his single family home was becoming way too much for him to deal with but my late Mom refused to move.

Dad is happy he doesn't need to worry about property taxes, his utilities are a lot lower in his 2 bedroom apartment which has a full size kitchen.... no need to worry about mowing the lawn, and especially worry about shoveling snow.... which he was doing at the age of 94.

Dad isn't much on doing activities at the complex, he's happier sitting in his recliner and watching 24 hour local news. Hey at his age, he should do whatever he wants.

The place is expensive, but well worth it knowing he is in a safe environment. He wear an alert pendent [which he wouldn't wear when he lived at home]. He uses his walker all the time [which he didn't at home]. The facility manages Dad's pills which he gets twice a day. Dad's rent includes dinner and the meals are excellent, the setting is like an expensive restaurant. He sits with the same dinner mates each day.

My mom is in Assisted Living...she loves it there. They serve the food she likes, I am not much of a cook. So she is eating better. She has a lot of people to talk to. She can take a shower when she wants to. My bathroom was not set up with grab bars and it was cumbersome giving her a shower. She spent two weeks on the healthcare floor (skilled nursing) she loved the staff and doing activities.
I doubt my mother would admit it but I can tell she likes the activities where she's at - if she didn't like them, she certainly wouldn't be participating. Activities may be a stretch in terms but she usually goes to the morning wheelchair exercise class and Friday's are movie days where they show old movies - last week was one with Marilyn Monroe and Danny Kaye- they've got a movie theater style popcorn maker and she loves popcorn. I've also seen some handmade beaded jewelry in her room that I'm sure she's made. I believe she likes having someone at the ready to pick her up off the floor in her room when she falls and likes all the extra staff around ready to give her a sympathetic ear and extra TLC. When she was in IL and even AL she would isolate herself in her apartment - can't do that where she lives now.
I guess I don't know how to answer this. Mom is not unhappy, but not happy, either. She's just kind of existing. She does say the staff takes good care of her. She sits up and watches TV or lays in her bed - all day and all night. This is by her choice. She has plenty of opportunity to do activities, and says she wants to do them, but if staff tries to get her up to do them, she refuses.

We're doing a cooking activity in a couple of weeks, where I hope she will be able to participate and enjoy it. We're making something she used to make all the time. Hopefully that will be the start of an upswing for her and I can get her to do more. She will do activities if I am there to take her to them, but not for anyone else.
If I could I would move to one of those classy assisted living places right now, they are kind of like living in a high end hotel, restaurant style meals, housekeeping services, medical staff on call if you need it and lots of activities to keep you busy if you choose.
Nursing homes are a whole other story, nobody gets into one unless their physical or mental needs can not be met in any other way. I don't think that they inherently bad, but like Susan says, most people are just existing once they get there. There may be pleasant people and staff, there may be activities, but I can't think of anyone who has lived in one that has ever told me they love it there, it is more of a quiet resignation that this is the best they can hope for until the end.
Cwillie, your post brought to mind something my mom said not long ago. A few months ago, I was able to get her to go down to breakfast in what they call "the bistro" - it's a small restaurant-type room where their meals are served to them at little cafe tables - something a little different from the big dining room. She enjoyed it and liked talking to what she called "her ladies" - unfortunately, these other ladies were only there for rehab after injury or illness and got to go home after a month, whereas Mom had to stay. When they talked of going home while I was there one morning, they asked Mom how long she was there for....I cringed when Mom looked at me and said, "For the duration." It broke my heart all over again.

I asked her once, not long ago, if she was happy there. I told her I felt badly for her having to be there. She made it easy for me and said, "You did all you could do for me - it was time for me to have more care than you could provide". Thank God for those lucid moments where she recognizes that she needs to be in a skilled facility vs. home.
I'm pretty determined NOT to let my kids care for me in the way I cared for Mom before she went into the nursing home. I have 3 kids and there's only one of them that I think I could trust to take good care of me, unfortunately. I have a sneaking suspicion that the other 2 would park me in a corner of the house in a hospital bed and just collect the SS payments.

I am hoping to have everything set up within the next couple of years - an appointed guardian that will take over when the time comes for me to be placed in a facility or need further care and will have POA over finances and medical decisions - and it won't be one of the kids. I'll have an advanced directive set up and a will. I should do it immediately, but I have so many other obligations right now that I can't even think about it. All I can do is handle what I've got on my plate right now and then handle that as soon as I can.
Whoops, that was supposed to go on the other thread - the one about long term care....sorry.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support