Nursing home or assisted living?

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I guess this question must come up all the time. My parents are in their early 80s, and they definitely can't stay at home anymore. I'm pretty sure they need a nursing home, but if they just had someone who made sure they took their medication, and made sure stuff like UTI or pneumonia didn't get out of hand, they might be ok. I'm just not sure.

Is something everyone has to decide on their own? Are there consultants or something that can make a recommendation?

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It sounds like your mother is aware that things are becoming too difficult for them. That is a plus for you and your brother. Have you thought about just hiring more help or do you need the money from the sale of the home to take care of them? If this is the case, I would definitely sell the house and get them into an assisted living.
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Thanks everyone. I live pretty far - I'm in California, they are in Michigan. Fortunately my older brother lives in Michigan, although a bit over an hour away. He's been very diligent about looking in on them, and has been shuttling them to medical appts, talking to the doctors and keeping notes, etc.

My parents have a really hard time accepting help, but they're slowly coming around. They get meals delivered and someone comes once a week to do light cleaning. This is all through our local Council on Aging. At least a few times, verbally, Mom has said they shouldn't be living in the house anymore. And she's the one we all have to convince, as Dad does whatever she says.
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I would definitely try the Assisted Living before a nursing home. It's such a drastic change in their lives I think it's always easier for them to make changes in stages. You didn't mention if you live near them and if you are able to stop in often. There are many electronic devices today that might help manage their medication (even apps that could go on your cell phone). I'm not familiar with all of them but it is worth researching. I had placed my Mom in an Assisted Living. Unfortunately, even though the meals are provided they don't always eat well. She had reoccurring UTI's and they were of no help in catching them. It might be more cost effective and perhaps better care if you were able to hire a caregiver. They might have more of a personal relationship with your folks. Perhaps with the additional care that could be provided and your electronically monitoring medicines they might be able to remain in their home longer. I empathize with what you are going through and pray that the right answer for you and your parents will be clear. It's a difficult time for everyone involved.
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You can consult their local Council on Aging to get the names of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in their area.
You don't say if your parents live near you. If you live in the same area, start by visiting a few assisted living places once you get some recommendations. Find out what their requirements are in order to accept new residents. Usually, they must be able to dress and feed themselves and use the bathroom with only occasional assistance. They must be ambulatory (with walker, wheelchair or cane) with only occasional/minimal assistance. Meds are handled by the nursing staff and dispensed as ordered by the primary physician.
Nursing homes are a higher level of care and are much more expensive. It sounds like your parents are way too high-functioning to require nursing home care at this point.
If your parents live far away and you are likely to become the primary caregiver, now would be the time to move them closer to you. As they age, it will be a lot easier for all concerned if you can be near them to make sure they are healthy and safe.
You are smart to look into this now, before a crisis occurs. Try to involve your parents as much as possible in the decision about where and how they will live.
Good luck!
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As a nurse, I recommend assisted living. If they can get around and just need some meds given at prescribed times, and want their meals prepared for them, then they don't need the skilled professionals that a nursing home requires. I don't know where you live, but there are agencies that are paid by the nursing industry so their services are free to you to give you a choice of living arrangements and fitting your parents budget. There are people and places to help your parents. And thank you for caring for them as you do!
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You can hire a geriatric care mananger; this is what cousins who lived in the midwest did to arrange care for their parents who lived in Florida. This woman was a God-send; she communicated frequently with my cousins and advised when the time came to move my uncle to NH due to advancing AD, and my aunt's inability to care for him properly without damaging her own health. Best of luck!
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if they only need help with those things, nursing home will say they are not eligble already went through that and my mom can't even walk with out me and has dementia which gets worse everyday, I am beginning to wonder how bad do you have to be before nursing home says ok, makes me angry, pills for all these diseases to make them live longer and then no one wants to help them when they do live that long, the goverment needs desperatly to address this issue, will keep you in my prayers
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I vote for either Adult Foster Care or Asst. Living. If all they need are reminders for pills, routine checking for UTI and other problems, then either one of those choices is the ticket.
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