When is it Time for a Nursing Or Residential Home

When is it Time for a
Nursing Or Residential Home

Noticing a decline in your loved one, or when they become more unsteady on their feet may give you cause for concern.
Similarly stairs may become more of a problem, as they are more likely to sustain injuries from falls and confusion begins to reign. Furthermore it will be clear to you that they are no longer safe living alone in their apartment/house.

So you need to ask yourself, "when is it time for a nursing or residential home".

  • When you notice that your loved one becomes more unsteady on their feet
  • When you notice medication is being dropped on the floor
  • When you notice that they are confusing mealtimes i.e.having lunch for breakfast etc
  • flag-checkered
    When they become less interested in their personal hygiene

Mixed Emotions

As a result it is a difficult an emotional mix of relief, guilt, reassurance and anxiety, when the time comes for your loved one to go to a Nursing or Residential home.

The time for a nursing or residential home will come when they will need 24 -hour personal supervision. This is something families should discuss sooner than later.

More often than not, homes have waiting lists and rooms are not always readily available.
It’s also a process that should be introduced gradually to your loved one. It’s not something they take kindly to at the best of times. 

My one client was so anxious because she had an idea in her head, that all homes drug you so that you sleep all the time.

It took some serious persuasion to convince her otherwise. So you see their fears are very real to them.

Many family members feel real anguish over the decision for their loved one to go to a home.

Some see it as a failure to honour a parent's wishes to stay at home until the end.
Others see it as a loving and responsible act when safety becomes of paramount importance. You will often feel powerfully conflicted.

Below are some ideas for dealing with the many emotions that arise around this difficult family decision:

  • Your responsibility is ensure the right care is put in place, this will not always align with what your loved one wants. Their needs need to me met now and in the future.
  • Always stick to the plan – don’t make false promises, like ‘I’ll never put you in a home’.  This maybe not what you’ve ever wanted for them, but consider for example, a broken hip, leg or stroke. You will be caught unprepared when the doctor/nursing staff at the hospital insists your loved one can't return home and needs 24 hour supervision.  It is a good idea for all involved to visit local homes in your area to weigh up your options and decide on preferences, before an emergency requires a rushed decision.
  • Everyone’s emotions will be running high and these feelings are uncomfortable, but  completely normal.
  • Your responsibility will be to ensure that their needs are being met, their room is comfortable and clean and they are reasonably content. You will find great comfort in being able to visit them and have quality time together. 

When is it time for a nursing or residential home? A very big question indeed.


Please let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.
*all comments will only show once approved, thank you.


Happy Caring, Margot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.