Putting Mom or Dad In The Nursing Home Without Guilt
By Bob Singer, BS, NHA, PCHA

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I am writing this thought to address those of us that care for their elderly and sick parents in either their own homes or their parent's home. Our parents, once very active adults, still trying to run, still trying to take care of their own needs, often, become more like our children as they age. When we are not on top of our parents we worry about falls, lapses in their memories, and situations that may eventually lead to fires or other dangerous situations. The concerns of caring for an elderly parent can tend to become overwhelming. As most of us may be aware, this stress can greatly contribute to poor health and poor mental state. The excess stress ultimately effects us adversely and eventually passes down to our own children, spouses, and sometimes beyond that to friends or work.

As people get older, especially as they approach the age of sixty and above, muscles, bones, and even minds may tend to weaken, causing a variety of illness and dangerous conditions. As the children of elderly parents who have declined to that point of constantt worry, we should consider the appropriateness to placing our parent into a nursing home. Nursing homes have become increasingly advanced in recent years and can address all concerns towards keeping Mom or Dad safe and happy. The reduced stress for ourselves and our families can create healthier and happier times for all involved.

Most nursing homes offer twenty-four hour professional nursing care, supervision, and security. This creates for a physical environment, where one's individual medical and physical conditions can become priority and can be continually monitored. There are professionals on staff that will provide the services of filing claims for medical insurance reimbursements such as for Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross, H.M.O.'s, and others. Residents and their families can receive specialized training addressed to their family member's individual needs and condition. Family can be educated on what to expect from mom's or dad's condition, so that preparations for the inevitable can be made.

Specialized rehabilitation services are usually available on location to include Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Pathology, Respiratory Therapy, Psycho-Social Therapy, and a wide range of other specialized disciplines that may come to be needed once in a while.

Balanced and nutritional breakfasts might include chilled juices, fresh eggs with bacon and toast, coffee and milk. Lunches might include a soup with crackers, a New York deli style sandwich, salad, some marinated carrots, fresh fruit, and a choice of beverage. For dinner one might enjoy roast pork, whipped potatoes with brown gravy, green beans, seasoned bread, and a fresh fruited Jello Mold, along with a variety of beverages.

Nursing homes have qualified professional staff just for the purpose of entertaining their residents. Depending on one's interests activities may include things such as exercise classes, room visits, garden clubs, birthday parties, ice cream socials, trivia games, religious functions, special shows, and so much more.

As the children of the elderly, we need to ask ourselves what is best for Mom or Dad, then ask ourselves if we are the most qualified individual to provide those services. Most of us don't try to fix our own cars without the new tools and technology of the day. Aren't our parents important enough to receive appropriate medical care? Let the nursing home professionals do their jobs. They even have experts right there on staff to help apply for financial aid if necessary.

Copyright 1998, 2001, By Bob Singer, BS, NHA, PCHA, Author.


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