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You're facing one of the toughest decisions a person ever has to make in a lifetime. Nursing homes are not on anyone's "most desirable place to live" list, but when they are needed they can be a life saver.

Doctors aren't always your best source for senior housing recommendations. Many are not aware of the difference between a nursing home and assisted living (Shocking, I know.) But when a neurologist, psychiatrist and case manager make the recommendation, pay attention to it.

This is one time you don't want your emotions to over rule your judgment. Placing a parent in an inappropriate level of care that requires a second move is hard on the patient AND the family. You're smart to seek others input here.

Generally a NH placement makes sense if the patient is unable to perform 3 or more of the following activities of daily living:

toileting (incontinence)
walking unassisted
transferring out of bed or chair
feeding herself
getting dressed

The 3 ADL rule is not hard and fast but gives you a good frame of reference to use. If you're still in doubt, hire a good geriatric care manager to help you. They can be worth their weight in gold with the burden they can lift off your shoulders.

Find one here:

Or ask the medical professionals your working with. Making such an important decision carries a large burden. You have my prayers for the most beneficial outcome for you, your parent and your family.
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The professionals are- His doctor, a neurologist, a psychiatrist, hospital case manager, skilled nurses. And the non-professionals are my trusted family members and friends.
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EA- please tell us what you mean by "professionals" - are these certified social workers? Are they marketing professionals from an assisted living facility? Are they home health aides? The quality of their assessment should be based on their credentials.

If it is indeed time for a nursing home, then there are some things you should do first. Take your elder to their doctor for a full assessment of their condition. Ask his/her opinion of assisted living or nursing homes, ask if they have a recommendation or if they've found one easier to communicate with over others. Then, if you need assistance contact your local area agency on aging to see if they can find someone to help you wade through the process.
Best of luck to you and your family. Be sure to ask any questions here - there's a lot of wisdom in this community.
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I remember saying," Ill never let my mom go in a nursing home or assisted living." Thinking that i was the only one good enuff to care for her. Now its been 2yrs. that she is in assisted living! Probably the hardest thing iv done in life, but i became ill myself. Now i visit 3 times aweek, take her shopping and even if im not there, i know she is eating in the dining room 3 times a day, exercizing and socializing. Her health has improved and she is really proud of herself!!!! almost like getting your first apartment!!!!
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Professionals usually suggest a nursing home, but home care is also an alternative.
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