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Putting your parent in a nursing home: Tips and advice

Like most, you do your best to provide your elderly parent (or parents) with the at-home care they need. With this approach, you hope that he or she will be able to remain in his or her home for as long as possible.

There could come a time when you have no choice but to consider the benefits of putting your parent in a nursing home. Although this is a difficult decision, you may have to take control at some point.

Since this is sure to bring forth a variety of challenges, make sure you have everything in order before you take the first step. For example, don't hesitate to ask your parent's family doctor if he or she can assist with the conversation. This will take some of the weight off your shoulders.

Here are some additional tips and advice to follow:

  • Don't make promises. You should never promise a parent that you won't consider a nursing home, as you never know what will happen in the future. If you do this, it will complicate the situation should you have no choice down the road.
  • Focus on providing the best possible care. If this means a nursing facility, you should move in this direction as quickly as possible. Your parent may not want to make the move, but you must help him or her do the right thing.
  • Expect all sorts of emotions. Maybe you'll feel some relief that you no longer have to provide care, 24 hours a day. At the same time, you may feel guilty that you had to make this decision.
  • You can continue to help. Just because your parent is in a nursing home doesn't mean you can no longer provide assistance. For example, you can still sit with your parent, help clean his or her room and make sure the right type of care is provided.

Putting your parent in a nursing home is never easy, but it may be something you have to do. Once you know which steps to take and how to make life better for your parent, you can take action.

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