Does my mom need nursing home care?

Nursing home

Summer vacations and the holiday season are two most common times of year for several generations of families to be reunited. If you are an adult child who recently paid a visit to an aging parent you haven’t seen in a while, you may have been surprised at their condition. While they’ve been telling you on the phone that they are doing “fine” and they “don’t need anything,” your summer trip home to Hattiesburg may have proved otherwise.

Assisted Living Care Versus a Nursing Home

Adult children often panic when they realize an aging parent isn’t managing very well at home anymore. Many times they think a nursing home is their only solution. In fact, home care or an assisted living community can be viable options to a nursing home. A retirement community that offers a full care continuum from independent living to assisted living and Alzheimer’s memory care is often the best long-term solution.

An assisted living environment is usually more physically appealing to seniors as most resemble an upscale apartment community. Older adults who reside in one often describe it as the “best of both worlds.” They have the care and support that they need to stay safe, including a physician or physician’s assistant on-site and 24-hour nurses, but also enjoy the privacy of their own apartment.

Warning Signs an Aging Loved One Needs Senior Care Support

How can you tell if the signs of trouble you spotted in an aging family member can be handled with in-home care or if your senior loved one would be better served by moving to an assisted living or a nursing home?

Here are a few tips to help you decide:

  • Are the tasks you were troubled by mostly home repairs and housekeeping related? For example, did you find the trash piled up or the refrigerator full of expired food? Those are tasks that can initially be managed with in-home care.
  • Check out their medication cabinet. Count the pills left in each bottle and compare them with the date. Do the numbers add up? Almost 90% of older adults take at least one medication each day and 41% of them take five or more. Failing to safely manage them can have deadly consequences. It is one of the most frequent reasons older adults visit emergency rooms every day. If your senior loved one is struggling, assisted living can provide medication management and might be the best solution.
  • Take an objective look at their physical condition. Have they gained or lost weight without trying? Meal preparation may have become too difficult. Is their skin dry and cracked? Both can signal dehydration. Is the clothing they are wearing appropriate for the season and time of day? If not, it can be a sign that personal care has become a struggle. For many seniors, an assisted living community is the solution to these challenges. Residents receive assistance with bathing, dressing and grooming, while also benefiting from nutritionally-balanced meals.

If your senior loved one lives in the Hattiesburg area and you need help determining what senior care solution best meets their needs, please contact us today or call 601-909-2385. One of our team of senior care experts will be happy to help!