I have noticed so many people here (myself included!) that have caregiver burnout and don't want to put our loved ones in a NH...

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So, even though SOME of us (myself included) are burned out/frustrated/unhappy/overwhelmed with stress and anxiety due to caregiving, many of us still INSIST despite all of our misery and frustration that we are NOT SENDING OUR LOVED ONE TO A NH. NOT HAPPENING. NO WAY.

So here's the question: Are we really doing the right thing? Is the right thing to suffer so our loved ones don't go to a nursing home?

I am grappling with this dilemma myself and just wanted to see what other's insight on this was!!

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On the contrary, I wish I could put my fil in an assisted living/nursing home. My husband absolutely refuses and so does my fil. I understand that most people do not want to go.
So here we are, living in his house ( fil's), and I am stuck taking care of him full time. I say "stuck", not to be insensistive, but beacuse that is the way it is. Due to the fil's dysfunctional issues, he has little contact with his daughters or grandchildren. He refuses to pay for any type of respite care or an aid to help him bathe ( he has not been in a bath or shower in five years), so he wears the same, smelly, urine/chewing tobacco stained clothes for days. It is a literal battle to even get him to take a bird bath and change.My husband and I cannot afford to pay for help.
Currently, he is on home iv antibiotic therapy and a nurse did say something to us about his dirty clothes and all the dead skin on his arms. I was so embarrassed. I think in my case, I am dealing with an alcoholic ( he drinks 5-6 whiskey drinks a night) and he is terrified that he will not have his drinks everyday.
I remember when my own grandmother was unable to live by herself. It was HER choice to live in an assisted living facility, because in her words she did not want to be a "burden" to her children. She was involved in different types of activities, church and shopping, She, for the most part, enjoyed her time there.
I find it interesting, that when we choose to be care takers, we are also taking on other issues/problems that may have gone unsolved for years. When one is truly dysfunctional,as well as the entire family, it is truly difficult. More and more, I see the same problems surface in my husband that his father has........denial, being the big one, being really stubborn, the other.
So, for me, the hardest part is the mental burn out, from frustration. When he gets to the point of needing diapers changed, fed and such,I'll be sure to call my husband. I have discussed this ( or at least tried to) about the very near future and have made it very evident that I cannot do that.
Don't mean to ramble on, but it would probably be different if I loved my fil, buyt I do not. I care for him and respect him. That's all I can do at this point.
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We have many NH here in our area to choose from I found the best are the ones who hire local staff-the one he was in most of the time get their staff -the aids from NY city-the NH sends a bus to the train station every 8 hrs to get them and they are the problem -they gang together and have an attitude and are in a union -this has always been a problem with this place-once they would not take my husband as a pt. in rehab and I found a NH that hired locally and what a difference. The best is to do what Cmag says -go in different times and report things you do not like-they would put Winnie's call bell where she could not reach it so I put a note on the wall that she needs to have it in place and I did call the NY State Board of health a few times and repirted things and got a letter back that stated that situation would be included in the next inspection-so there are things you can do to make things better-mostly make friends with the staff takein cookies etc that will help your lived ones get good care and compliment when you see good care.
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I want to add something new to this...my husband was in a rehab facility and it was piss poor...they had bed bugs and ppl crying out saying they need help and being ignored. They wouldn't even help him bathe fully and since he can't have surgery...well I take care of him at home its much better some positive feeling but when it comes to down to the wire ill see but as far as I am concern the system is broken and when u ask for advice you get terms you cannot understand and get treated as though u cannot see ur way through a paper bag. Not in my case I have learn to deal with the system tho i been told to get attorney etc and said i need to force spenddown on my husband. For what ?? its trial n error as it stands the system looks at money not the ppl...always will.
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Wow, 60% or the caregivers die before those they care for? That will make you pause and give it a think!
Anyhow, maybe I'm lucky, but in my situation, it is pretty clear cut when the nursing home/assisted care will happen. When I can no longer care for my Mom because, for instance, she has broken a bone, or gone fully into dementia where she runs the streets, it will be obvious that I clearly can't handle the situation. I don't intend to "die trying". My Mother would not want that either. My Mom would say something like, "I'm old, had a good life, and I don't want you killing yourself to keep this old lady alive. It's time for what I don't want--a place that is not my own home, but it is what is now the thing to do."
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cmagnum, I don't think your experience is unique. It definitely is not universal, but there are good, caring facilities out there, and any facility can do a better job with help and advocacy of family.

Aunt Ethel worked as an aide in the small town care facility. When she was widowed in her sixties she used some of the insurance money to go back to school and become an LPN. She knew the difference in salary would never pay back the schooling, but she also knew that the facility truly needed someone with that degree. She worked there for many years before she retired. Later she walked in one day and said, "I think it is time for me to register here as a resident," and she lived out her last decade there, dying at age 100. Not every small town nursing home has a dedicated Aunt Ethel, but don't discount the possibility of finding very fine care even in small town low-tech nonprofit facilities.

Once the long term care landscape was bleak. There are still nightmares out there, no doubt about it. But do not despair at finding compassionate care -- it is out there, too. Even the care we give at home is not perfect. Fortunately perfection is not required.
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cmagnum; I'm happy for your experience and happy to know that the care you describe does exist. There are two skilled nursing facilities in our small town, both are wanting for staff. I was at the nursing home at all times of day and evening. I put in a complaint on several occasions just because of the obvious. The PT staff was absolutely awesome, but the floor staffing was very poor. One of the aids that I especially loved told me that they put too many on the evening shift, when things were quiet and not enough during the day when so much was going on. I mentioned this in a separate post that people can go to medicare.gov and find a link that rates nursing homes. There are better ones in our area, just further from where we live and I will check them all out should the NH come back into the picture. Read the last sentence of your previous post and make the necessary correction.
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The nursing home where my mother is must be unique. It is for profit which makes it expensive, but she never smells. Because she is bedridden, she has to be transported to see her neurologist in a wheelchair via the transportation van. I go with her on each appointment and the staff has her ready. I've never found her smelling. I have learned that some relatives do not come and go with their relatives when they go outside of the nursing home to see a doctor. In those situations, the nursing home sends a CNA to go with them. A few times, I have heard that the van driver actually stays with the resident. One thing that I do is to visit at random times on random days without any prior announcement and maybe that keeps the staff on its toes. Over time, I have met all of the nurses and all of the CNAs who work on my mother's hall on different shifts. So, in my opinion the challenge is to find a good one. It is true that generally non profit nursing homes do not have the level of care that nonprofit nursing homes give.
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Musiclover: I just want to say that nursing homes could provide better care if they were not so profit oriented. My dad was in a skilled nursing facility/nursing home after his stroke. My son worked there as the chef for the facility. He knows the finances of the facility and mentioned to me that they made a million dollar profit in that fiscal year. We brought my dad home, after rehab and care for his speech and swallow problems. One of the main reasons I brought my dad home was because it broke my heart to go there and see him, asleep in a wheelchair by the nurses station. When I reached him, I could smell him. He was sitting in his own excrement. This was pretty much a daily reality. I was there every day, I sat with my dad at lunch and worked with the speech/swallow therapist to help him learn to feed himself again. I often took my dad to the bathroom in his room, changed his pants and did what the staff should have been doing. Also, let me just say that the charge nurse on my dad's floor was also dating my son, so you would think we would have some influence as to my dad's care. And we did. But the powers that be are only interested in the profit margin. No employees can over ride that. These places are profit motivated. They are they to make money and they will cut corners to do so. Not enough staff is the number one problem. The aids are running their butts off and if you need assistance, especially in the day time, you can pretty much forget it. Anytime my dad needed to be transported to a doc appointment, ie removing feeding tube and other things, my husband and I would take him. We didn't want him being transported via bus with an aid. First of all, what would the aid care about what was being said, second of all, I want to have first hand input in what is happening with any doctor. Regardless of the fact that my husband and I were relieving the NH of the loss of an aid or the need to arrange transportation, I would arrive to pick up my dad and sometimes he wasn't even out of bed, dressed or fed. What the hell is wrong with this picture? It's profit and and lack of care. If you want to find a good nursing home, be sure you check out nonprofit and religious institutions. For profit can be a problem.
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It's a tough call. The choices we had, were not good, many were staffed with underpaid, English as a second language caregivers. Many are short staffed and under- funded. I wish I had the magic answer for you.
I had written earlier about my own experience- I moved to So. Fl. to help Mom out with my Dad's care. We were also, damned if you do, damned if you don't. - We let him stay in one of the "better places" . Everyone hid when all the care was done, and seemed annoyed that my dad's underpads had to be changed again. If we were not there, his needs would have not been taken care of. We always said, "OMG- so many people HAVE to put their loved ones here." - Its a tough choice.
What we did (homecare) may not be an option for some. We just thought we could give better care at home. Yes, it was hard. YES, we almost lost our minds. NO, I am not a Martyr. He was my father. He helped me when I needed it. That was my driving force. That's what kept me going.
I hope you all find what works best for you. I am no expert.
I wish I had the right answer for each of you. ((((HUGS)))
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I should have double checked this, but if you go to (I believe) medicare.gov, you can find a rating for nursing homes. If I gave you the wrong web site, just do a search for best and worst nursing homes and you will find the link. You can put in your zip code and a distance parameter and you can view all nursing homes within those boundaries. Nursing homes are evaluated annually by medicare and you will see how they rate in various areas of care. You can also read about complaints, etc.

Nursing homes are never going to be as good for the elder as being cared for at home by loving family members. Still, what is the benefit if you must give away your life to care for theirs. Sometimes, there comes a time when you also have to give consideration to your personal health and the well being of your family.

I've been caring from my parents from age 55 to 63. I went to my dad's doc today for a consultation about his care. My blood pressure was 190/100. That's not good for me and I am pretty tired. My mom has passed, but my dad needs 24/7 care and lives with us. He's 89. Is it right for me to die so that he can stay with us? After I'm disabled or dead, then what? I know that it is perfectly reasonable for me to what to have a life of my own, but it breaks my heart to give him up to NH care. The logical answer is that I should be able to say that I have a right to my life. The emotional answer is that I should be able to handle all things for all people. Unfortunately, I know that I can't do that without a great personal cost.

I do have a caregiver that comes in 3 times a week for 3 hours. That is huge and more than many have. Still, it does not provide me with a life. That's the reality. My heart goes out to all who are struggling with this issue. You have to be kind to yourselves also.
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