6 Ways You Can Tell That an Older Adult Needs to Move into a Nursing Home

Updated on August 13, 2020

You might have an older relative who is not as mobile as they used to be, or perhaps they have some serious medical issues. Maybe you are in that position yourself. As you age, it’s only natural that your body might break down a little, even if you’re doing all that’s possible to remain healthy.

You or your relative might be getting close to the point where you need to look into an assisted living facility or a nursing home. But how can you know when that time has come?

There are some things that could indicate that this is the best option for you or your loved one. Let’s look at a few of those.

You or Your Relative Keeps Falling

52% of seniors will need a nursing home at some point, and part of the reason for that is reduced mobility. Many individuals can’t balance as well when they get older. You can try to keep your balance by doing things like:

  • Regular exercise classes
  • Yoga classes
  • Martial arts such as Tai Chi

You might develop a medical condition, though, that makes it difficult to do these things. If you have something like MS, it will be more difficult for you to get around on your own.

If you or your older relative keeps falling, either inside the home or outside of it, that could mean the time has come to look into nursing homes. It’s even more of a dire situation if you or your relative lives alone, or with other older adults who can’t be much help if this occurs.

You’re Getting Forgetful

Another reason that some older adults look into nursing home care is that they can’t remember things as well as they used to. This might be a sign of something like:

If this is happening to you or a relative, then it can be a serious problem. Maybe you’re out somewhere, and confusion sets in. You might not be able to easily find your way home.

If you find that you sometimes forget things like your name, address, or other vital information, then you should consider whether the time has come to look at nursing homes. It’s for your own protection since you might find yourself lost out in the world somewhere unable to take care of yourself.

You Have Serious Medical Conditions That Your Family Can’t Handle

Almost anyone would prefer to stay amongst their family in their later life. Few people want to go live in a nursing home or assisted living facility.

What sometimes happens, though, is that you or an older loved one contracts a disease or condition where it’s tough for untrained individuals to deal with it. They want the best for you, but you might need monitoring and medications that it’s difficult for them to administer.

You might need medical equipment that they don’t know to operate, or there might be no room for it in the house or apartment. If that happens, then a nursing home often becomes the best option. The staff there will have not only the equipment you need but also the medical training to assist in your day-to-day care.

You Can No Longer Keep Up with Basic Hygiene

It can be hard for you or an older loved one to admit that you need more help than your family can give. There could come a moment, however, when you can no longer dress and undress without assistance. 

You may not really be able to use the bathroom or bathe yourself without someone there to assist you.

If that’s happening, you might have to set your pride aside and look at nursing homes because you do not want to burden your relatives. You know that they love you, but they have their lives to live.

If one of them needs to stay home with you constantly to make sure that you can bathe, dress, or prepare food for yourself, that might be the time to look at other options.

You Can’t Drive Yourself Around Anymore

Another sign that your health or a relative’s health is declining is if you cannot drive safely anymore. Most people are able to drive for many years, and that’s how they get to places like doctor’s appointments and the grocery store. 

If you can’t do that anymore because you don’t feel confident on the road, then that’s going to make your life much harder.

There are sometimes public transportation or ride share options. These can be impractical or expensive, though. Lyft and Uber can be pricey. To get to a bus stop, you might need to walk a quarter of a mile or half a mile, and that’s going to be very tough in the winter.

You Have Trouble Doing Things Like Paying Taxes and Bills

No matter how old you become, there are always going to be bills and taxes to pay. Maybe you or your relative can’t easily figure out how to do those things anymore.

There are usually ways to pay your bills and file your tax return online. You might not be keeping up with the latest technology, though, and you might struggle with these sorts of chores.

Moving into a nursing home will take these matters out of your hands. You can leave your finances up to your relatives, assuming that you trust them to take care of something so vital.

It’s no easy thing to give up some of your independence, which is part of what is happening when you move into a nursing home or assisted living facility. When you look inside yourself, though, you might realize that the time has come.

You need to be in the hands of people who can care for you. Together with your relatives, you can research facilities and find one with excellent reviews where you will feel safe and comfortable during this next phase of your life.

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