Should I put my parent in a nursing home?

29 answers | Last updated: Nov 28, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Where do I start? Who do I call to get help? Should I put her in a nursing home? My Mom has been living with me for 8+ years and its getting to be too much for me. I don't have a life anymore.

Expert Answers

As Founder and Director of Circles of Care, Ann Cason provides caregiving, consulting, and training services to individuals and public and private organizations involved in eldercare. She is the author of Circles of Care: How to Set Up Quality Home Care for Our Elders.

If the care of an elder is left to one person, it can easily become overwhelming. The good news is, there are abundant resources to help.

A good care manager can help you address your feeling that you don't have a life anymore, and also sort through the resources so you can get your life back.

Perhaps you need to hire a person for respite help to come to your home several days a week. Perhaps you need to join a support group.

Finally, find five nursing homes, assisted living facilities or adult foster homes within driving distance of your home. Find out what kind of care your mother would qualify for, and make appointments to visit.

When you visit a place, can you visualize your mother there? Can you see yourself as well?

If you were visiting her there, where would you sit? Who would you talk with? Give yourself plenty of time to walk the halls. It takes a while to be able to "feel" a facility from the inside out.

As you consider this difficult decision, try not to think of it in terms of "putting" your mother somewhere. Think instead that you and your mother need to expand your relationships and options for the purpose of more care for you both.

Community Answers

Aaron p mulvey, nfa answered...


Unfortunately you are in a situation that all too many of us find ourselves in.  I also am facing some serious decisions within my own family.

I am an administrator / consultant for nursing home facilites and other individuals in your same exact situation.  Contact me at and I can provide you with the answers you need to make educated decisions about your situation that in the future you will be happy with.

Prayers to you!

Mam's aide answered...

It is a tough call, and, can you imagine what you life might be like if you don't get help with your mother. There is a very good reason the instruction on an airline is to put your own oxygen mask on first!!! The important thing, when you are seeking a Geriatric Care Manager, as Carol suggests, is to find a good one. We are stuck with one, now acting as our mom's guardian, who doesn't give a fig for us and our stress levels, nor that much about mom's care or wellbeing. He is more concerned about himself, being paid and not having hassles than he is about all three of us. My husband and I have been looking after 95 year old mam for 6 years. I recommend you ask people for recommendations - at support groups, activity centers, day care centers and any other place you can find. The staff at such places will know a lot about a care managers, also search the web with the prospective person's name and organization to see if there is anything untoward posted. After our guardian had been in place for a year or so I searched the web and found he's put a perfectly competent woman in a care home, saying she was incompetent, and was clearly not. It took her 2 years to get out and go home! So be careful - interview them and ask for references from their other clients.
And look after yourself . . .after your mam has gone, you will be here with potentially a gaping hole where the care for your mam had been. Find something for you now and live the life you have been given. go well, dear heart!

Charb answered...

Hi Charley - I used a service called to find a home for my husband with Parkinson's. You register online then they have a local person call you. She was wonderful - listened to me and what I needed. Then she emailed me a list of places that met my criteria in my area. I was lucky to find the most amazing Board and Care home, just a few minutes away. It's a beautiful home that's been remodeled for safety - right at the end of a culdesac. He's been there almost a year now. There are 4-5 other residents, plus a couple that live there and take care of everyone. He is safe, well-cared-for, lives in a family environment, plus the owner takes him to all his doctor's appts. She also brings in some sort of entertainment every day.

Yes, he misses me, but there are 3 people taking care of him now and he is safer than he was at home (he fell constantly because I couldn't watch him all the time - now someone calls out when he tries to get up and walk without assistance.)

Good luck and please acknowledge yourself for the love and energy you have devoted to your mother. It's good to let other, more skilled people care for her. You will be able to show up with more love for her and a lot less stress.

Luvmymom answered...

I faced the same dilemma from November of 2010 to February 2010. I was the only care giver for my 89 yr old mother living in my home. I fully intended on having her there until she passed. The reality is that neither of us could see the road ahead. I was trying to work, take care of my home, my daughter, and my mother. She fell in the middle of the night and we were lucky that we even heard her. It is not your fault that her condition warrants full-time care that you are not able either physically or mentally to provide. Remember that things will become more challenging with time. Finally after her most recent hospitalization and skilled nursing facility stay, a Social Worker offered the option of a group home. The cost was reasonable. She took me to a few homes to tour and meet the owners, caregivers and residents. My mother gets great food and great care. They know her likes and dislikes and provide consistent compassionate care. It has changed my life ( and hers). I thank God every day for this Social Worker who helped me find a home that I felt comfortable with. Coincidentally, the home was in my neighborhood! I highly recommend locating a Social Worker in your area to assist you with exploring the option of a group home. My mom tells people all the time how content she is there.

Dutifuldaughter answered...

I think a lot of it depends on how far advanced your parent's condition is and on what degree of relief you really need to feel okay about your decision. It doesn't have to be an all or nothing situation! For instance, would taking your parent to an adult daycare program during the day for 5 or 6 days out of the week help you feel the needed relief without the guilt of giving up entirely? This is what works for me. I drop my dad off in the morning on my way to work and pick him up on the way home Monday thru Friday, 8-6pm. I also take him there for several hours on Saturday so I can go shopping or to a movie without him. He loves the structured activities and "eating out" at his "senior friends club". It's fabulous. That way I only really have him for a few hours in the evening plus all day Sunday, which is family day at our house anyway. Adult daycare programs have participants at all levels of cognitive and physical abilities, and usually offer other services like haircuts, pedicures, bathing, massage, etc. at extra fees. My dad is pretty high functioning but certainly can not live alone anymore, so I feel he's too "well" to put in residential care yet and to do so would be an unnecessary drain on his limited assets at this stage. So the daycare programs work perfectly to give me the relief I need, give him the care he needs, and saves a ton of money to boot. Check it out before you give up...can't hurt.

Berni london answered...

I also found it very difficult to accept my mother needed to move into a care home. At 91 she started to get signs of dementia and a couple of falls brought the situation to a peak. She fought against it, was horrible to me and as I began the process of renting out her flat to pay for this highly expensive care home she told everyone I was making her homeless and stealing her money. She has now been in residential care since October 2010 and it has made so much difference to her quality of live I thank God I had the strength to go ahead! She doesnt really remember her own house and thinks she has lived where she now is for years. She has made friends and now has 24 care and company whenever she needs it.
She still has her bad days but generaly I am overwhelmed at how happy and content she is. She is also now so much safer and with no worries about finances etc; I however have to find the money! I think it's about finding the right care home at the right stage. It's tricky but worth the sleepness nights once you have got it right. Good luck to all of you who are starting out on this journey and dont be so hard on yourself if you struggle. At least you care enough to make the effort and time for your loved one.

Daisyfairygirl answered...

I know what you are going through! I have been taking care of my mother in our home for over 6 yrs now! She is 82 and has dementia. I just got her out again after a month. I just don't have any good respite care! She gained weight and looked good and was taken care of, but still begged to get out. When she comes back home with me she just seems to give up! I have had physical therapy come to the house all winter. Iam trying to get va assistance and ii just gave up my job in jan. To stay home and take care of her, but it is all consuming! I have a husband,and 3 grown children. She has her good days and bad days! I have looked into our local lifestream services, but she is almost blind and doesn't want to go to senior centers! Iam not sure how much longer I can go like this but I just want to keep her happy until she's bedfast, or no longer able to do anything or know us.

Brendagb answered...

This may not be helpful, but I'd like to add another perspective.

My 87 mother has been with me for 8 years as she's rapidly declining from congestive heart failure. I ended up divorced 6 years ago, and of course, some of the cause was the strain on the marriage as caregivers. Currently, I work from home, or there would be no way my mother could continue without any care. She doesn't want me to hire a "stranger", doesn't want to go to any flavor of assisted living. Yet, she can do very little personal care anymore.

I always thought I could keep her with me, and at the very most would have to finally hire somebody to live in and care for mother. Whether she liked it or not. I can't keep my job, and change a diaper on her, if it comes to that. So we are sitting at the border-line position me knowing we need to help and her resisting accepting it.

I too don't have a life. My suggestion would be either hire an independent caregiver or agency one to see if that gives you some relief. That would be more economical than going all the way into moving her to a home right off the bat. Maybe you could get some downtime and more of a life if someone just came in for 4 hours several times a week. I think that's my next step.

Good luck. Get some respite if it's reading a book in the bathtub at night, walking outside and looking at a rose, or butterfly. This is what we are doing at this time in our lives for some reason. It is us rather than another family member. We haven't been doing this all of our lives up until now, and we won't be doing this forever throughout the rest of our lives. But today, now, for whatever reason, it's what we are doing. When our mother's are gone from this earth (mine's pretty much gone now since she's another person), we'll probably wish for a day we could spend caring for them. The freedom we crave is going to come at a high cost - the loss of a mother. It's horrific for me to even imagine.

Susieg answered...

My mom lived with me for 8 years. The first 5 were absolutely wonderful. The last two very, very difficult for me. While there are plusses to having a elderly loved one live with you, a downside is that they can become isolated. Their entire world revolves around you, the caretaker, so of course, they don't want anything to change.

When mom started to lose weight and have trouble with dehydration because I wasn't there to constantly monitor her intake, I decided I wasn't doing her, or me, any favors. If I couldn't meet her very basic needs for food and water, there was something wrong.

At the same time, my relationship with her changed from being a loving daughter to that of constant caretaker. It reached a point where instead of sitting and visiting with her, when I wasn't caretaking, I wanted to "get the heck out of Dodge"! The stress of the situation started to take a toll on my marriage.

I realized that taking care of my mom, meant giving her the very best medical, nutritional and personal care I could. Moving her to a nursing facility meant that she was getting the best of care on an ongoing basis, and I was free once again to be her daughter. To advocate for her and enjoy my time with her.

She was very reluctant to make the change, so I told her that I needed to take care of her in the best way I could, and she could help me chose a place, or I would take care of it for her. Not long ago she told me she feels safe in her room at the nursing home. She is well taken care of and has everything she needs right there in her room. We have made sure that she has multiple visitors every week, birds to watch outside her window and the opportunity to go places when she can.

Best decision for her, for me and for my husband.

Conniemcneilly answered...

I am an RN and director of a home health care agency and would like to add a few suggestions. My agency supplies CNAs for many elderly patients so the primary caregiver can get a break. Picking a good agency isn't easy and isn't cheap. My agency is in central FL and we charge $18.50/hr but do not demand a minimum number of hours. Some agencies charge less, some more, but most expect a minimum of 4 hrs for a visit. But getting some breaks from that constant pressure of being a primary caregiver is essential for you to survive. If you decide to pick an Assisted LIving Facility, be aware they have certain criteria that they use to decide if they can accaept the patient. Most ALFs charge approx $2000-$4000/mo. If help is needed for taking meds, bathing, etc. there may be additional charges. If your Mom needs a lot of care, a skilled nursing facility may be necessary and may cost $6000-$7000/mo. If she cannot pay, get in touch with a Medicaid specialist that can give you the info you need. A Day Care Center may be for her and is much less costly. Which ever facility you choose, visit them more than once. Pay attention to foul odors as that's a sign of patient neglect. If they have a memory loss unit, make sure it is locked (to prevent wandering) and has enough staff with eyes on the patient. Small private homes sometimes offer care at much lower rates than the bigger facilities but visit them too and be sure there is capable help in adequate numbers. My hat is off to you for all the care you gave your Mom for all these years. Don't beat yourself up because you are burned out! Good luck!

Lovely123 answered...

I am currently taking care of my mom with alz, she is 83 years old. I retired from my job of 28 years, I am 49 years old, to young to retire but taking care of my mom and not placing her in a nursing home is worth it. I have been taking care of my mom going on 2 years, being the only girl is so hard, I sometimes feel so alone I have my mom 24/7. My brother kept her one weekend for me and my younger brother has yet to keep her. This mothers day no one came to see her and she has 9 grands all live 10 minutes apart. I have one daughter in college and one son in elementary school. It was so hard on my family at one time, I was home from church for almost a whole year, I was slowly getting depressed, but now hospice has help me out alot, they really take care of their patients. I finally started receiving the va benefits so now I take her to assited living for the weekends for respite, I look forward to my weekends, I now get to attend church with my husband/kids. This disease is so horribe for our love ones but with God's help we all will make it as caregivers!!!

Angiltarachrn answered...

There is not 1 concrete answer for any family. Your situation, needs, and family dynamics are unique, and only you can decide what's best for you. I wrote an article titled "I promised not to put my parents in a nursing home" which addresses the need for some to put their parent(s) in a nursing home. Do not make the decision out of guilt. Here's the article

I wish you peace and happiness in whatever you decide and the best for your family

Pld answered...

It's important to know that there are so many options, not solely one of moving to a nursing home. Skilled nursing care can come in many forms, some based at home, some including adult day programs. The responses suggest some of these many options. A colleague of mine found adult day programs to be so helpful as her mother aged and moved in with my coworker and her family. She and her husband were able to continue working, knowing their mother was receiving great care during the day. This is a local government program based at a community park, where my friend could easily drop her mother off and pick her up at the end of the day. Nursing care may prove to be the best choice, but may not be the only one.

(In case you're wondering, my parents moved to a retirement community they could afford -- while still active in their mid-70's -- through the sale of their house and use of pension funds. They told my sister and me they did that in part for our benefit -- but they really enjoyed living there. When mother needed skilled nursing, she could receive it there at no additional costs than 2 more meals a day (they received a meal a day while in Independent Living) and fairly minimal out-of-pocket expenses. Dad could visit her every day, as I did when I chose to move back to my hometown after my own retirement.

Mother and Dad lived to 88 and 90; Dad was sad when mother was so ill but he knew she was getting the best care possible, as he received after a fall in December that eventually led to his death.

I learned from them to make this choice proactively; they knew when owning their own home became a burden rather than a pleasure and chose then to move to a retirement community.

Wwgrace answered...

Hello, I work for an in-home care agency. We may be strangers the first day we come into the home, but we soon become one of the family. Yesterday, I spent the day potting flowers with a lovely couple in their backyard. The day before, I bathed and visited with a woman in her apartment in a senior home. The people hate to see me go when I have to leave. In another case, I am the respite care for the daughter, who leaves her mom in my care, while she goes out and gives care to someone else, in order to make a living. Each situation is different, but make sure you discuss all of the choices with your mom, and reassure her than an agency like Homewatch Caregivers will send out someone who is compatible, and are able to change that caregiver, in case the fit isn't right. Good luck!

Ising4joy answered...

My Mom was in a nursing home after she broke her foot, she loved it, she had friends and planned events, she did not want to go and it was hard convincing her she had to for the phy therapy. But after being there for a year and 1/2 she didn't want to leave. Of course she had to because Medicare said that is all we are paying for...she cried, I worked for 3 months got her back in, then she changed her mind and had to take her back home...that was 5 years I must also do something, I am 63 and can't take care of her, she is too demanding, I am trying to talk her into going for a month, she is very sick, if I can get her back, she will want to stay, one thing is the guilt people lay on you, fact of the matter is they do not live your life, and have no idea what is best for you and your Mom, she will be better off there, they take good care of them and you can visit anytime...You need to live your life....You have to talk to her doctor, he will set it up, where ever you want her placed..

Heleni answered...

Hi Charlie We Had VCAT appoint mum a Guardian through the Office of Public Advocate. Against mums wishes and ours mum was forced in the nursing home in Greensborough. She had head injuries and felt neglected and pshycologically very traumatic for our mother to be in strange surroundings with people she didn't know or want to be there. In that nursing home mum had in excess of 6 falls and a bleeding in the brain due to very bad falls and she went downhill very fast due to other issues with dehidration and malnutrition. The nursing home didn't take mum to the hospital and the Office of Public Advocate's Guardian wouldn't remove mum out of that unsafe environment.

Have you considered getting paid carers into the home to assist with looking after your mum? look up "" There are organisations out there that provide specialised carers for elderly people or people with high needs to be looked after in their own home.

You can also apply for a Centrelink carer pension which would go towards providing and assisting the help your mother needs.

You may advertise for a live in carer.

If you were lucky enough to find a live in carer you could work out time/arrangement with them so both can share and alternate the care for your mum, that way you can get to have your rest/respite time for yourself too.

Nursing Homes are not the only answer as VCAT and some Aged Care Managers/Case Workers are pushing for, be careful try not to get involved with these organisations.

Please consider carefully about placing your mother in a nursing home as once your mother is in the nursing home you loose control in how her care is managed. If it's a private nursing home they aren't bound by the same rules as publicly listed nursing homes, be very careful as the quality of nursing homes may not be a quality best for your mum...

Have you considered advertising for a live in carer. It's hard to find the right person but there are loving, caring people out there that do this as a job.

Also there is also government assistance so your mum can employ a full time carer you or your mother may need to subidise depending on hours.... you can run it by your mother as if she wants to stay at home its an option to consider.

How does your mum feel about going into a nursing home? Speak to your mum about what she would like too...

Once you place your mother in a nursing home it may be hard to get your mother out. As a general observation some elderly people end up worse off in nursing homes in fact carers who work privately i've spoken with who work in nursing homes have told me they see people actually deterioration within the first 6 months of being put in nursing homes.

Its heartbreaking not easy but see if you can get help in the home and give that a go first, see how it works out, may be another option to consider.

Whatever you do, do discuss this with your mother and see what her wishes are and allow her to make choices about her own life too.

Our mother didn't have the chance to make choices because VCAT took that away from her and she ended up worst off.

All the best to you and your mum.

Lruss5050 answered...

My mother is 94. We are lucky here in Ontario, Canada that we can get a certain amt. of free help. I get a Personal Support Worker now 7 days/week for 45 minutes to get Mom cleaned and dressed. Also, I get 3 hrs/week respite free. The respite isn't enough but it's free. Unfortunately Mom has dementia and is becoming more frail not eating enough and suffering low blood pressure issues. She is very pleasant but there comes a time when moving an elderly person around the house becomes very difficult. I would like to keep her at home. Financially it makes sense because after she goes I will have to start over entirely and financially I need my half of the house to get by at all! It's very complicated to get her to the doctors and he won't do home visits. With more support I could keep her at home but I will likely have to put her in a nursing home.

Dutifuldaughter answered...

Charley, look for an adult DAY care facility near you right away to immediately relieve your stress even while you are considering and researching other options. They care for seniors at various levels of ability and are far, far less expensive than other options, even in-home help. You do bring your parent home at night and in most cases for the weekend or at least for Sunday, but daycare serves as a bridge that does two things: it relieves your stress so you can have a life again and it also helps prevent you from being overwhelmed by that feeling of extreme guilt of "putting your parent away" to be cared for by strangers instead of able-bodied family members, if that is how you'd view it (as I and many others do - we have to find solutions that don't create self-hate despite all the "professional advice" not to feel guilty about it - it's who we are). I agree with Heleni who said that her mother got worse in nursing care - I have seen it with friends who say the same thing and I'm certain my father would deteriorate rapidly if I put him away, so I find ways to handle the stress and DAY CARE is a God-send for that! I have many years, he has only a few. I know I won't regret it when he's gone, like I'd regret it if I put him away and he died among strangers in a facility. [In my opinion, we Americans are too quick to put our parents in the care of strangers to make our lives easier. Yes, I know, once in a while it's necessary, but that's the exception not the rule, yet we get a lot of pressure from advertising media and "professionals" every day to just put mom away and don't feel bad about it. Shameful. I admire the Japanese culture, for one example, they revere their old and respect them, not throw them away or try to make them someone else's problem. I'll probably get hate mail for my opinion from people who don't want to be made to think about this, but we who choose to honor our parents by caring for them to the end should NOT be made to feel we are mindless martyrs or freaks of society.]

Cdrpa answered...

To Charlie and others in similar situations, I feel the pain you all must be dealing with regarding placing a loved one in a home or nursing facility. To be brutally honest, it is not an easy or pleasant place to be and must say, an emotional rollercoaster awaits.

I went through this horribly tough time with my mom. She didn't do well living with my brothers, and even though we tried to make things comfortable for her, she wanted to live on her own. After several back and forths, a fall here and a forgetful moment there, my brothers and i figured it wasn't safe for mom to be on here own. Due to here physical and psychological ailments, we could not take care of her, and we had no choice but to place her in an ALF close to one of my brother's home. Hindsight, we should have done more research into services available and other ways to deal with the situation other than sticking mom in a home. Six months after checking into the ALF, she passed due to the negligence of the facility and her primary care physician.

My advise to you is this: 1. Research every available service you can get either for free or for a reasonable cost. 2. Avail yourself of any government program, facilities, service, or whatever, that you can qualify for. 3. If after all that you still have to place a parent in a home, make sure you check the facility out inside and out. Ask for records, licenses, employee information, and anything else that you can get your hands on. In my case, some of the employees were no qualified to work in the field and had little if any training. Basically, my mom fell, broke a leg, the facility waited 2 plus hours to contact me or call the ambulance. Results, mom passed within 24 of reaching the hospital. 4. If at all possible, keep close tabs on your loved one. Sometimes those who call themselves professionals are far from it.

After my very painful ordeal, I have decided to start a small business to help keep ALFs and nursing homes honest. Here in Florida, AHCA, who is supposed to regulate these facilities, is a joke. The state is trying to tie the hands of the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program and our elderly are going to suffer quite a bit unless we find a way to keep the systmen honest and our seniors safe.

My business is called the Center for Dispute Resolution and Public Advocacy. Among our services, we offer surrogate visitations. In essence, we serve as your eyes and ears and will visit your loved ones who may be residing in a nursing home, ALF, or other facility. Right now, CDRPA can only service Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties here in Florida but hopefully we can expand in the future. The surrogate visitation program will give you some peace of mind in that someone is keeping an eye on your loved one and relaying the information to you expediently. The cost, you might be wondering, is nominal. Email me at and we can discuss the particulars.

Thanks and good luck to you all and if at all possible, keep mom and/or dad at home with you. Rob

Bellanovavilla answered...

Deciding on whether to place a loved one in a "home" is a very difficult. Fortunately, there are specialists that can help you make that decision. There are many factors that should be considered if or when you make that choice and these specialists are highly trained to give you expert advice. I am sorry to hear about some of the negative experiences some of you have faced when you placed your loved one in a facility. Unfortunately, these do happen at places that probably shouldn't be licensed. I have been a care giver for many years and have seen both the good and the bad. But don't be discouraged about seeking a safe place for your loved one, there are many good ones out there.
Sometimes, tending for a loved one can be a burden for both you and them. They may not be receiving the best care or the attention they need. Often times they can sense your frustration with them which could in turn create more stress. Regaining your life is very important and knowing that your loved is well taken care of will benefit both you and her. My advice: talk with the administrator and the residents as well as their family to see what they say about their home. Check referrals. The smaller ones are the best ones because they can give all of their residents the attention they deserve and are generally more welcoming. Family-operated homes usually offer better care and you receive more value. Cost is another issue. Don't go with the cheapest place out there! Sometimes you get what you pay for. Facilities that are priced to get you in usually cut some corners. If it costs a bit more for you to have the peace of mind to know that your loved one is taken care of, it is all worth it. I would love to answer any questions. Please feel free to contact me. Adriana

Ising4joy answered...

I got Mom help thru Medicare waiver, check out and see if they can help you thru your state, they will send people in to care for her, but of course Mom still has her own home, and the way it works is if she has a bill at the time of her death the house must be sold and they get paid first...A nurding home isn't a bad place, Mom was in one here for her broken ankle, she loved it, but Medicare would not pay for it after her ankle have the right to your own life, I know you love your Mom, what would you want your children to do if it were you? I told mine to put me in a nursing home, I do not want them to have to suffer, I have lived my life! I am now sixty four...

Nursinghomemonitor answered...

You can't let this situation destroy you and affect your health. It is a VERY tough choice. My Mom & I finally had to place my 80 yr. old (alzheimer's ) father in a Nursing Home. I would recommend being attentive as "those who pay attention" and let the caregivers know it, get better attention. We had to bring several issues to their attention, making sure they are bathed, changed, fed and given their medications. Get to know the staff and the management/nursing supervisor. We developed this tool to help out (only .99 cents), in memory of my Father: Check reviews and do your homework on Nursing homes in your area. Best to you if you choose this route.

Staceybeck01 answered...

I think when I realized I should start looking for adult homes[] was when I realized that I wanted my mom to be in a place where she can still be interacting with other people instead of sitting on the couch all day while I run in and out of the house. You're never to old to meet new friends.

Eggplantquilt answered...

I have just lived through this, and in hind sight, I would say if there is any way to avoid a nursing home for a parent, figure it out. Though the nursing home my mother was in had the highest "ratings" possible, State inspections immaculate, an available private room. it was an awful place. Mom could not move. The other 6 siblings left it to me to take care of Mom, and I also had a full time job. She needed full care. She was on medicaid. The long list of such sad and inhumane treatment she received is so hard to reflect on. I was with her every day, and all I could think about was the lack of care. Warm curdled milk on her bedside stand which was her world. Her dirty hands,face, with mold all around them....the room was clean when she moved in, but the humidity and neglect harbored mold and decay.She never had cold water, the food was always cold, from a can. I worked constantly to clean and make her life the very best it could be. The front doors were left unlocked at night....and this was the highest rated Nursing Home in the State. I made my complaints, filed written complaints, bringing Mom more ostracizied.. I thought I could not care for her because she could not move....185 lbs.....but I could have, in my home, I should have, and I will never forgive myself. She died in my arms a few mos ago. Saran wrap on the windows, blowing, to try to keep some heat in, a screaming neighbor next door yelling "Get me up! Get me up"!!! sticky red drink on the floor held my shoes like glue....I will for ever and ever have regrets.I should have taken her home and made it work.

A fellow caregiver answered...

where we going with this?: -they cared for us with love. -( paradise under feet of mothers ) -how can you trust some to care for your mother even highly paid. -you don't need life, you have great one there (do your best before you loose her)

A fellow caregiver answered...

I wanted to share this inspirational story with people dealing with elderly parents or loved ones who can't seem to take care of themselves as we'll anymore. I hope this inspires and helps someone. I took a job at a gym last year. At first, it was just a job. People come in to lose weight, get muscular, etc. But then I met two clients who were elderly who are brought there by their relatives to try to get them better. One is Norma. When Norma first came to the gym she was in a wheelchair, could barely speak, and to me, was basically an invalid. It broke my heart to see her being picked up and put into each weight lifting machine and assisted to do the pull downs, chest press, leg extensions. She didn't talk, her eyes were pretty distant, and she just didn't seem all there mentally.

I stopped working weekends which Saturdays were Norma's days to come to the gym and Strength Train with our personal trainers so I hadn't seen her in about 3 months. One weekend another girl went on vacation so I had to cover her weekend shift and I saw Norma again for the first time since meeting her. I was shocked! Tears of amazement welled in my eyes as I saw her heading towards the door of the gym, walking with a walker instead of a wheelchair. When she came in and I asked her how she was she spoke to me, with shining eyes and enthusiasm, reintroducing herself to me. I was in awe of the change! She was just a shell of a human 3 months ago and now, here she is, walking, talking, and able to get on the leg press machine and do 26 reps of 50lbs! Not only physically is she getting strong enough to go from a nursing home to an assisted living facility where she will have her own bathroom and more independence but she is mentally sharper! I spoke with her neice who has been a client of ours for years and who had decided to bring her to our gym about how amazing Norma is doing now and she said it is because of the strength training. Her atrophied muscles are building back up and she has more energy and zest for life now. I cried. It was so beautiful seeing the transformation.

If you have a loved on in the same condition, please, consider getting them a personal trainer who specializes in Strength Training. It will completely transform your loved ones life for the better. Strength Training has also been shown to increase bone density in the elderly so that they are not as likely to break bones. Google, learn, and don't give up!

A fellow caregiver answered...

I have 2 relatives in nursing home care and say personally if you can get respite days off to live a life separate then do that. Some people say about falling at home, both my Aunts in 2 different homes have fell 4 or more times and broken bones and how you wonder in care facility? after a visit today Id say because they are not watching these frail people. I went and got 1 of them out of a garden bed he was climbing round, then later helped a lady who nearly fell while trying to sit on a arm chair, If I hadnt grabbed her she wouldve fell on the hard floor possible broke a hip. Also an hour went by and my Aunt was left in a room unattended with none in hearing distance let alone able to see her or a few others wandering round.1 of her falls are not even known how and how long she was on the floor in her room,the bed sides werent up, her latest fall was her walking unassisted and bang. As for dinner times if they can feed themselves great if not theres not enough staff to sort that out so they basically dont eat. Theres many more things but basically no, dont put your loved one in there, I am yet to see a nice one and Ive seen 6 so far all ranges of expensive to Governement run. I think only if they are catertonic not aware of anything in bed, yes nursing homecare till the end.

A fellow caregiver answered...

Charley, I am right at this moment facing the same dilemma as you. My 83 year old mother has lived with me for the past 10 years and I am coming to grips with the realization that she needs more care than I can give her. And, taking care of her is taking an ever-increasing toll on me. She is currently in a rehab after falling at home. She's been in the rehab about four weeks now. This is not the first time that she has fell, but luckily she hasn't broken any bones as a result. So, while she is in rehab I have started the process of searching out a nursing home and going through the process of getting her into one. I must say that once I made the decision to do this I spent many a day going back and forth on the decision. I tortured myself with guilt and sadness. When a parent lives with you, you can almost feel like you are putting them out of your home when making a decision such as this. But that is not the case. I now realize that life is full of phases--physical and mental. There was a phase 10 yrs ago when my mother could live with me and it was good for her and for me. Now she is at a phase where she really would do better in a care facility. She is more helpless now than ever and needs constant help from several people daily. I, one, cannot give her that care. But this doesn't mean life is over. I am going to face this as a new beginning. I will help her by visiting often, getting to know the people who will work with her, etc. I have done this at the rehab and I actually see where she is doing better already. I suggest you check out a Place for Mom if you decide to do this. The nursing home process can be very involved depending on your resources. The earlier you start the better even if you ultimately decide not to go that route. God Bless.