How To Recognize The Signs It’s Time For A Nursing Home

How would you react if you found out that your parents or grandparents were going into a nursing home? Would you be sad or relieved? And how would you recognize the signs?

How To Recognize The Signs It's Time For A Nursing Home

Nursing homes provide care for older adults who require assistance with daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, grooming, feeding, toileting, medication management, and continence.

They also offer socialization opportunities, recreational activities, and respite services.

Although nursing homes are often thought of as places where residents become dependent on staff members, they can also be a place of independence.

Some seniors prefer to live in a nursing home because they enjoy having their own space and being able to choose their schedule. 

But if it were time for a loved one to go into a nursing home, what would be the common signs?

In this article, we have a look at some of the most common signs and work out how you would know it’s time to start checking out some good quality nursing homes. Let’s jump in.

Common Signs It’s Time For A Nursing Home

Although caregivers can provide care at home, below are the signs it’s time to take the next step and move into a nursing home.

How To Recognize The Signs It's Time For A Nursing Home (1)

Nursing homes can offer professional care and although you can attempt to give them the right care at home as long as possible, it sometimes gets to a point where you cannot handle it all on your own, and professional help is the best decision going forward.

If you are struggling to provide the hands-on care your loved ones need, feeling emotionally exhausted, or feel your loved one needs specialized care and supervision, a nursing home is the best place for them.

1. The Person Is Depressed

If someone is depressed, he or she may not seem like themselves. He or she might be withdrawn from others, appear disinterested in things around them, and even complain about feeling tired all the time.

A person suffering from depression will also likely feel hopeless, helpless, guilty, angry, lonely, and worthless. A nursing home can combat loneliness and mental health issues, helping your loved ones get back on their feet again.

2. Memory Loss

As people age, their memory tends to get worse. This can make it difficult to remember names, dates, and other important details. People who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia tend to forget more than just simple facts.

They may lose track of recent events and conversations and struggle to recall memories. There are nursing homes out there that host dementia patients and give them the attention and professional care they need.

3. Physical Changes

When a person gets old, his or her body changes. Muscles weaken, bones become brittle, skin becomes dry, vision deteriorates, hearing fades, and teeth fall out.

These physical changes can cause problems when it comes to eating, sleeping, and walking. If these changes continue, a person could eventually stop doing basic tasks without help and a nursing home could provide this help.

4. Lack Of Interest In Activities

When a person loses interest in activities that used to bring him or her joy, it can be a sign that something is wrong. Someone who has lost interest in hobbies, sports, music, or reading may be experiencing a cognitive decline that needs professional attention.

5. Difficulty With Daily Living Tasks

As a person ages, he or she may find it harder to do everyday tasks. This includes getting dressed, brushing hair, cooking meals, cleaning the house, and taking medications.

A person who struggles with these tasks may need to rely on caregivers at a nursing home to help him or her complete them.

6. Increased Dependency On Others

As a person grows older, he or she begins to depend on others for assistance with daily living tasks. This can include asking for help with bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, and using the bathroom.

A nursing home can provide this help, especially when you do not have the time to provide this sort of hands-on care yourself.

7. Social Issues

As a person ages and his or her social skills begin to fade, he or she may experience difficulty making friends, maintaining relationships, and keeping up with current events.

Since nursing homes are group homes, it could be an opportunity for your loved one to make friends.

8. Confusion About Where You Are Or What Day It Is

Older adults sometimes have trouble remembering where they are or what day it is. This can lead to confusion, anxiety, and frustration. They may need constant care to be reminded of basic things like this.

9. Incontinence And Other Urinary Problems

As a person gets older, he or she may develop incontinence and other urinary problems such as frequent urination, constipation, bedsores, and falls. In a nursing home, they can get help with all of this.

10. Falls

This brings us to our final common sign. Falling is one of the most common reasons why older adults end up in a nursing home.

Falls occur when an individual trips or stumbles while walking, standing, sitting down, or lying down. Falls often happen because someone has weakened muscles, poor balance, or impaired vision. When an elderly person reaches this stage, a nursing home might be the best place for them. 

Red Flags It’s Time To Think About A Nursing Home

Although you might be thinking, I can handle all these problems myself. I can still be the primary caregiver. The below red flags are signs that a nursing home might be better suited.

Caregivers should be aware of warning signs that indicate they’re about to become overwhelmed and these include:

  • Hurting yourself when lifting your loved one
  • Noticing a progression of your loved one’s disability, meaning their safety is in danger
  • Your loved one has navigation problems and has gotten lost multiple times
  • Your responsibilities are being neglected which is creating problems at work or with your family life 
  • You find yourself with chronic burnout
  • You notice your health is getting worse, mentally or physically
  • Your relationships are starting to suffer
  • You struggle to meet your loved one’s needs all by yourself
  • A nursing home seems to be more affordable than paying for care services at home

Final Thoughts

We hope after reading this article you have begun to notice the warning signs of when your loved one needs to be moved to a nursing home.

A nursing home can be key to providing your loved ones the proper care they need, especially if you are experiencing burnout and neglecting other responsibilities in your life as a result of caregiving.

They will be looked after, cared for, and can even make some friends. So why not consider the move if you are beginning to notice these signs for yourself.

Eddie Lamb