Deciding when to put your father or mother into a nursing home is one of the most difficult decisions you’ll ever have to make. And, if you’re like many people, you’ll probably try to put it off as long as possible (ditto for the conversation you’ll have to have with your parent about it).
There will come a time, though, when you won’t be able to put it off any longer. You’ll know.
“When it’s time,” however, is not when you should begin planning. You should begin planning well in advance.
Give yourself a little time to get more comfortable with the idea. But only a little time – because these are the sorts of decisions you don’t want to have to make under pressure, or in a crisis situation.
A good Elder Law firm will have a list of local nursing homes. So will your local Alzheimer’s Association, Area Agency on Aging, Department on Aging, or your state’s facility regulatory department. Most likely, these organizations will also have a list of those nursing homes with a dementia care unit.
Naturally, you’ll want to visit a few. And you’ll want to visit with a friend – not a family member – because they can be more objective, and can notice things you may not.
One thing you should ask a nursing home – even before your loved one actually needs it – is whether they offer respite care for short-term stays. This will afford you time to take a vacation or break (as well as time to get sick). In addition, this will allow you to be prepared for sudden emergencies…say, if you need surgery.
If you’re a caregiver to an aging parent, you’re entering a very stressful, and often confusing, period of your life. But we can help.
We’re The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates. And we’ve helped thousands of South Florida families over the past 33 years – not only with answers to their questions about nursing homes, but also wills, trusts, power of attorney, comprehensive estate planning, long-term care planning, asset protection, Medicaid, and the VA.
We can be your guide through the Elder Care maze.
When Should I Start Looking At Nursing Homes?