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Considering the Alternatives: When a Nursing Home is Your Last Resort

The decision about whether to place an ailing parent in a nursing home is always difficult and emotional. Many family members who’ve been acting as caregivers would prefer their parents never see the inside of a nursing home. However, sometimes a person requires a level of care beyond the caregiver’s ability.

Make Your Care Decisions Early

In an ideal world, you and your parent both had time to tour and select a potential nursing home for later on in their life. You sat down and laid out plans for their care. You both had clear guidelines about how much care you could provide for them at home and when to consider moving them to a nursing home.

Unfortunately, even the best-laid plans sometimes just can’t cover all of the contingencies. No one plans for their parent to fall or be in an accident that leaves them requiring more care than you’re able to give them at home.

Consider Your Options:

Hire Home Health Aides

You can hire home health aides, but they don’t always show up as scheduled. Very few jobs allow time for employees to rush home when an aide worker fails to show up so they can take care of a sick parent. And even when an aide is present, your parent can still fall, or the aide might not provide the level of care your parent needs.

Adult Foster Care

Some states have a system of adult foster care homes, which function as a home away from home, but with the supervision of a caregiver. Generally, though, such places are for adults who are still somewhat mobile. They need a moderate amount of assistance with such things as bathing and eating, laundry, transportation to appointments, housekeeping, and recreation. The care in these homes is roughly equivalent to what a person would receive in an assisted living facility.

Options for Caring For Your Parent Yourself

There is such a thing as in-home foster care. In Virginia, the primary caregiver must be at least 18, have a driver’s license, and have adequate income prior to receiving assistance. They must also pass a background check. They’ll be required to be available 24/7. There is a limit of six residents renting rooms. Generally, residents share a common living space and might share a bedroom and bathroom with one other resident.

A new innovation in home health care is called a “MedCottage.” This is a house about the size of a mother-in-law home that is built for patient monitoring. It’s meant to be occupied by one person and has some basic living facilities. Your parent will still require visits from a caregiver.

When a Nursing Home is Inevitable

When your parent reaches a level of needing to be monitored 24/7 because, among other reasons, they can no longer get themselves to the restroom or can’t get around in general without falling. Many people wait until their parent has an accident in the kitchen or gets lost while driving a car before they make the decision to send them to a nursing home.

Diligently Monitor Their Care

Once your parent is in a home, it’s in both your interests to monitor their care. Bedsores begin as a spot of discoloration of the skin. Ignoring or improper diagnosis of the spot can lead to complications.

As the sore progresses through the skin, it causes the patient great pain. It can cause infection, which can advance into sepsis and death. The good news is that bedsores are treatable. Unfortunately, many care facility workers don’t do their due diligence to treat and prevent them from forming on patients.

No patient should ever die from bedsores in a nursing home or any type of care facility. Bedsores are usually the result of neglectful medical care. In many cases where a patient dies and has bedsores, the sores themselves weren’t the cause of death, but the complications from them were.

When You Need An Attorney

A Nursing Home Abuse Attorney can help you work through what steps were or weren’t taken to alleviate your parent’s suffering. Keep in mind that many of these cases are settled prior to going to trial. An attorney can advise you as to what sort of award you might expect depending on the level of neglect or incompetence involved in your parent’s case.

Having to admit a parent to a nursing home is hard enough. Finding out they didn’t receive adequate care can be devastating. When the time comes and your parent must be admitted to a home, make sure you’re there to monitor the level of care they’re getting.

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