Home or Nursing Home?

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I was wondering how people decide which of the two is best for their elderly parent. My Mother is 84 years old, with Alzheimer's/Dementia which the major challenge, but also has two torn rotator cuffs, bad legs and feet from a back condition. Although we are struggling. really struggling we are able to take care of Mom at home with the help of a home attendant.

The question I have is.....How can you tell or decide if your elderly parent is better at home or a nursing home?

At home, she does nothing and just sits a stares at a TV all day.

A Nursing home although you lose your privacy, there are people, activities and professional people that can help with this terrible disease.

My family and I go back and forth on what to do. Any suggestions?

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Thank you all for your comments, it really helps...! Good luck to everyone who is in a similar situation.
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I am in same dilema but no help from family. I agree with VirtualH the time will come when ill know I cant do this anymore and shes safer and better cared for in a NH. I dont know if we have memory clinics here but its sounds like a good idea as my mum is up and mobile and my biggest fear is that she falls then will have to go into a NH. Its so hard and the guilt is enormous NEVER did i think id be here today trying to make this decision putting my mum in respite for a wk was hard enough. Part of me thinks wait until she dosnt know where she is and its will be easier? another part thinks she is going to die soon and peacefully and never lose her mind completely? then if she goes into a home shell be safe and cared for and ill have her for longer? Gosh so hard and so sad but the time will just come and we will know that its for the best.
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If she cannot be left alone, a nursing home with a roommate might be better for her. Talk to her MD, because they have to make the recommendation. Usually patients at home fall, go to the hospital and after a three day stay they go to rehab (Nursing Home) and have to meet certain goals-- toileting, eating, dressing, walking, sorting medications, before they can be released. If they can't make the goals, they go to long-term care. It's not a snap decision.
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What about a memory care unit in an assisted living place? At least here in the Chicago area, they're two different things. The nursing home is for someone who requires total care (and is more bedfast I believe), while the memory care unit is for people who are up and around, but can't manage because of the Alzheimers. That might be a nice middle ground. If you get a facility with a continuum of care, when/if your mom needs the nursing home level of care, she can move to the skilled nursing area.
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Thank you for your response. I am trying to take myself and Sister who is also assisting in the caretaking out of the equation. I think it would be much easier for both of us if our Mom was in a home. We feel great guilt even talking like this but that is the truth.

I am trying to focus more on what is actually better for my Mom. she gets so agitated when the home attendants show up, and calls the agency 3 to 5 times a day. we worry that having the home attendant is constant stress on my Mother who refuses to even lay on the couch when they are here, she forces herself to sit up. My Mother rather that we be there all day for her, but that is just not possible and she cannot be alone. she has fallen multiple times. refuses to wear the life alert device we got for her, and has trouble remembering telephone numbers.

I hear positive and negative comments about nursing homes. I have a good friend who's mother called him constantly. She also has dementia. They put her in a home and she loves the attention and activities. Others tell me, there parents do not like it and are not doing well.

Such a hard thing to decide, and that is not even taking into consideration an opening in the home, and if she qualifies.
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My Mom and I struggle with the same question on an almost daily basis. Dad has Lewy Body Dementia, plus arthritic back and bad disks in his back. Some days he's almost too much too put up with, some days we wouldn't think of moving him to a nursing home. I think there will just come a certain point where we'll have a sudden point of clarity and just know that it's time. It's different for everyone, of course, and depends on many things: are you (and I mean "you" in the broad sense, not you personally) willing to take care of your loved one, despite the ups and downs; are you physically and mentally able to do so; do you want more freedom in your life that placing in a nursing home would accomplish; do you just not want to have to care for someone on a daily basis; etc. I think there are great benefits both ways, home or nursing facility. It just comes down to a private decision about what is best for the patient and what is best for the caregiver.

PS: My Dad sits in the front of the TV a lot, though I'm not sure whether he's watching it or just dozing or just staring into space. Compared to his agitation and obsessions of sundowning, I'd rather have him sitting quietly (hopefully) in front of the TV!
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