Many family caregivers say they’ll never put their loved one into a nursing home in Oxnard. Some regard it as a lack of effort to honor a parent’s wishes to stay at home until the end. Others see it as the ultimate betrayal. Some hold both views and feel highly conflicted.
But there comes a time when family caregivers are unable to keep up and their mental health suffers. A few signs it’s time for nursing home care is when the caregiver experiences:
- Denial about the disease and how it’s affecting the ill individual
- Anger at their loved one
- Social withdrawal from friends and activities that used to bring pleasure
- Daily anxiety
- Irritability that leads to moodiness and negative actions
- An ongoing inability to concentrate
- Difficulty remembering the last time they felt good
In some cases, the psychological effects of caregiving can be more intense than the physical effects.
Facing The Decision
When it’s time to transition your loved one into a nursing home in Oxnard, here are ideas for dealing with the many emotions that can arise around this difficult family decision:
Don’t make promises you can’t — and shouldn’t — keep: It might sound noble to say you’d never consider a nursing home for a parent, but this promise could backfire. If, for example, your parent breaks their hip or suffers a stroke, the hospital may insist on nursing home care. If you’re unprepared with a backup option, you may end up scrambling to find a good home and struggle to convince your loved one to accept the decision.
If a senior develops severe incontinence, the caregiver may struggle to meet the senior’s daily needs and begin to feel overwhelmed and discouraged. Severe incontinence can be a challenge for both family caregivers and medical professionals who provide in-home assistance.
Your job is to provide the right care — not necessarily what your loved one prefers: The “right care at the right time” is not always clear cut. It shouldn’t, however, be solely defined by a parent’s unchanging demands in a dynamic situation. The “right” plan should meet the parent’s current and future needs, while taking into account the needs and capabilities of other family members. If nursing home care seems like the best choice, then that is what should be chosen.
Expect mixed emotions: Stepping foot into a nursing home in Oxnard can bring a flood of emotions. You might wonder if your loved one will be happy there, or if they’ll get the care they truly need. You’ll go through a period of adjusting that is quite normal.
Plan ahead: It’s always best to have a few options lined up. For instance, if your spouse or parent receives an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, discuss their wishes for end of life care. Ask if they feel okay about living in a nursing home when you’re no longer able to take care of them.
It’s normal to feel guilty and sad when moving a loved one to a nursing home, even if you made plans in advance. It may feel like you’re abandoning them or taking away a piece of their freedom. But it’s important to recognize the signs of a good decision — one that benefits their health and safety, and yours.
You can continue caring for them in their new living environment, too, by making sure they are surrounded by qualified, responsive aides, and that nursing care is clean and comfortable.