Is a nursing home the right decision? - AgingCare.com

Is a nursing home the right decision?

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My mother-in-law has required increasing help over the fourteen years since my father-in-law died. With some hired help, my husband, his siblings and their spouses, and I have managed to keep Mama in her own home. She is 91 now and has nothing wrong that is likely to kill her any time soon. She does have painful debilitating problems, and her dementia is very bad now. She can't do any of the things she used to enjoy. She does nothing but complain. She asks the same questions over and over and over all day long. Even with this, we were managing pretty well until her children and their spouses began having health problems. I had pancreatic cancer several years ago and am still on oral chemo because I'm not out of the woods yet. Reactions to chemo have put me in the hospital several times in the past year, and my husband was in the hospital once for several days with spasms of the hiatal hernia and acute gastritis. He has other problems too. Still, our caregiving duties go on, no matter how bad we feel. Now my husband's siblings are soon going to be dropping out as caregivers for very good reasons--serious, crippling health problems in two cases and serious family problems combined with health issues in the other. Soon it will be just my husband and me, and there is no more money to hire additional help. Finally, my husband and I want to do a little travel before health and age make it impossible. I am 74 now--how many more years do I have to enjoy travel? We can't wait until Mama is gone. Her doctors say she is likely to live to 100. The only solution we can see is a nursing home, but we know Mama would hate it. In fact, she has said she'll kill herself if we ever put her in a nursing home. More important, we want to feel good about ourselves and how we handled this. I want my husband to feel right about how he treated his mother. What do we do?


A Daughter-in-law at the end of her rope

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She might qualify for at least day programs if not assisted living, maybe one with a Memory Care program or option. Some of these are really nice and even elegant in decor. Funding is less likely to be covered but sometimes there are programs depending on what state you are in such as ElderChoices that would possibly help with home health in a less restrictive living situation. If my mom had been willing to have someone in her home or participate in activities at a senior center, we possibly could have done that instead of assisted living as long as possible then nursing home for her. I did find that quite a few nursing homes look a little more like assisted living facilities now, with nice dining and sitting areas, though rooms are smaller and more hospital-like, you just have to look around for one that will be more appealing. We tried to use Home Instead to get her back home, but that fizzled, and A Place for Mom to find residential placements, and it turned out that facilities I found by looking around in person and on the web were better ones.

You can always get your feet wet by trying them out as respite, first while you are in town to check on things, and then when you travel. Which you absolutely should do! I sure wish you well!
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F31eye, look for Residential Care houses. Are Home like environment so, she doesn't feel like she is in the hospital. It is a more closer care and supervision, in home doctor visits, nurses,etc. I own one one of these Homes in WA state so ,I know what I am talking about. Some of these house accept Medicaid as source of payment when her private pay runs out. If you more info's just ask me and I can help you.
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I've been there and my experence with nursing homes were very good. I was 71 when my Mother was placed in one and she too hated the idea-but after a short while, it really was best for her and myself. Do it, but don't make the mistake that I did-I went to see her twice a day-that was wrong-they really need to adjust to being on their own-a couple times a week for short visits are best. Mom had dementia and it took its toll on both of us, she passed in July and just to let you know-I feel no regrets-bless you and take care of you.
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