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When A Nursing Home Is the Best Place

Maria,

My mother (62 yrs old) has been living on her own for quite some time although she is bed-ridden. She has multiple sclerosis. Recently she was admitted into the hospital and is now in a rehab home. This has
opened our eyes as to what type of care she really needs which is 24/7. She can barely feed herself now or use the phone.

She is due to return home in about two weeks, but we are considering a nursing home because she is alone at home for at least fourteen hours per day, mostly at night. I’ve tried to get a sibling to live with her, but they cannot do so and we lack the living arrangement for her to move in with us. She does have in-home care which is covered by Medicare, but the coverage is from 9 am – about 2 pm. We cannot afford to hire someone privately to cover the fourteen hours.

I have tried for years to comply with my mother’s wishes to live at home, but I seem to be out of options because of her condition and not having 24 hour care. What type of advice would you offer? Do you think a nursing home would best serve her needs?

Lisa, Huntington Park, CA

Hi Lisa,

It does sound to me like a nursing home is the best place for your mom.  If she were not bed-ridden and could manage her ADLs (activities of daily living), it would be possible to keep her at home.

What’s important now is to find the right nursing home and this may take some time.  If she likes where she is now, you’re extremely lucky and I would encourage you to do all you can to keep her there.  In addition, you, your mother and your siblings will all need support in adjusting to this very difficult decision. I’m hoping that you can focus on the fact that you were able to honor her wishes to be at home for several years.  You did what you could and should be kind to yourself moving forward.

Best,

Maria

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