What is your "line in the sand" re: nursing home placement?

Started by

A fellow user brought up this point in another thread, and I thought it was worthy of a thread of its own. (Thanks FadingShadows!)

What is your "line in the sand" when it comes to nursing home placement for your loved one? At what point will you decide that you can no longer care for them...or will you do everything and anything to keep them at home - up to and including hiring in-home health care for 24/7 shifts?

Most of us cannot afford to provide that sort of care - it's simply not possible.

For me, I think that time will come when Mom becomes completely unable to walk and requires lifting - or has a medical issue that can't be cared for in the home (stroke, etc). Mom is a very heavy woman, and I am only one person - I would have to have a Hoyer lift in the house to move her at that point, and as I am not a medical professional, I don't feel comfortable using one of those. Serious injury to the caregiver and caree can occur.
I would be all for rehab and physical therapy if she would do it, but that has been suggested in the past - as recently as last year - and she refuses to do it. I keep her moving as much as possible - 1 trip walking up and down the wheelchair ramp to the house is about as much as she can take at a time - but it's a losing battle. She sits and lays in bed more than she walks, so the 5 minutes of activity she gets from walking the ramp is almost meaningless. So it's just a matter of time before she has a serious fall or becomes unable to walk at all.

So that's mine - when Mom becomes completely incapacitated to the point where she can't move on her own or has a serious medical issue that I can't provide proper care for, we will have to look at assisted living or an NH, because I can't move her on my own.

What's yours?


When two different doctors looked me in the eye and told me she needed to be placed in assisted living. Best advice I have ever received. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and I still had a full-time job. We were getting no sleep, because Mom kept pushing the alert button calling for help.
Susan, my line in the sand is the same as yours -- when she can no longer stand on her own. I am not strong enough to lift her. We plan to call in hospice to keep her home as long as possible, but there may come the time when she will need more strength than I have.

Another consideration for my mother is dementia. If she begins to wander or create danger for herself or others, she will need to go into a facility. I hope that we don't ever face this possibility.

We were fortunate in not having to face decisions with my father. He was able to walk well enough and take care of his ADL's until the last four days of life, which were spent in the hospital. I hope it is the same for my mother. On Monday, her doctor talked to her about preparing for the end. The doctor was glad to hear that things were in place, but it made me realize I need to look at nursing facilities more seriously in case they are needed quickly. The doctor probably noticed what I have been seeing -- that the end is approaching quickly now.
Oh, Jessie - I'm sorry to hear that. Your mom must be in pretty rough shape. I hope you and your mom can deal with this peacefully.
I'm so sorry to read this Jesse. Yes, I also hope you are both able to deal with this peacefully.

For me, the NH and mom are almost there. It's her anger/aggression that will put her there. Lying on the floor screaming that someone is trying to kill her (me) is my limit to sanity. Even had to call 911/emt's but they wouldn't take her. She wasn't "hurt", just "upset". So they had me call my brother's to come pick her up. This was Monday evening. Haven't heard a peep from anyone since then.

So yeah when I become crazier than the crazy lady it's just about time.

Gosh JB i had no idea your mum was that bad? she has same problems as mum diabetes and dementia. Im so sorry i always thought she was younger than my mum? but still in the same stage as mum?
My line in the sand is mum is becoming a danger to herself and i cannot be here 24/7 she has fallen out of bed twice nothing serious but that was the worst day of my life as i knew this is it....... its starting to progress last week my cleaner rang me from the drive through KFC and saw mum walking behind the cars?? no not on the pavement thats it shes never allowed out on her own again.

So far shes ok once shes downstairs but if she falls more and more then its a NH i just couldnt cope.

It is not possible to look after someone 24/7 without the carer becoming ill or worse, never did i see myself here mum has suffered all her life she deserves to go in her sleep in peace and thats all i pray for now. My friend tells me to get her name down now but i cant handle that right now not yet as i still believe she will die at home? Call it a gut feeling i dont know why i feel like this?
Oh my gosh, JeanetteB! Not sure I could deal with that - that would definitely be my line in the sand - coupled with the fact that if my mom laid on the floor to throw a tantrum like that, I would have to call 911 to have a team of EMTs come pick her up.

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