Do you send a grandparent to a nursing home if it will mean splitting him/her up with their spouse?
My first reaction to this question is whether or not the grandparent and/or the spouse are capable of making decisions for themselves. Many elderly people are. Only some have dementia or Alzheimer's Disease. If the person, him/herself, can decide that's who should decide. If he/she cannot decide then the spouse should decide. I suspect that in most such cases both partners don't have dementia or any other inability to make his/her own decisions. Many times, younger people don't understand that some of the things elderly family members do are not signs of dementia at all.
If both spouses have been diagnosed with dementia then it would seem the next in line to make decisions would/should be their own grown children. If there are no grown left, then, of course, the decision may have to be up to the grandchildren (hopefully, with the advice of more than one expert who knew the person in question very well).
I think, though, that in general nobody should be thinking about "sending" an elderly person to nursing homes unless the person has serious enough dementia to pose a risk to himself AND does not have a spouse capable of making the decision; or unless the person needs round-the-clock nursing care, there is no way to provide that at home, AND the spouse has serious dementia and is incapable of making the decision.
You do, what is best for that person. If they cannot take care of themselves, and you can't be there to help take care of them, then yes, it is better to put them in a nursing home.
First talk to them, and find out thier opinion of the subject. Get their ideas and thoughts on the subject. However some older people are not so willing to be open to discussing such things.
If the spouse is old enough or in failing health, they may want to go along to the nursing home also. That is often times what happens, when one goes in the other goes in also.
There are many variables to this question, and there are no easy answers. Is the person needing care so debilitated that the spouse can no longer take adequate care of them? Have they suffered a stroke and can no longer go to the bathroom, or assist themselves in any way? This is a very hard job for an elderly spouse to take on. Does the person that requires care have a progressive disease such as Parkinson's Disease? If it is a short term problem like Pneumonia, or a Fractured hip they can go into a facility that has a rehab department and get stronger and return home.
Let's not forget about cost. Nursing homes are not cheap. Do they have long term care insurance, or qualify for Medicaid? To pay privately it will cost $5,000 to $6,000 a month, or more.
There are other alternatives, like assisted living, home health services, call Senior Services in the area to see what programs are available.
It depends on the grandparents diagnosis and level of care needed, and the availability or nonavailability of 24 hour home care. If splitting them up is not an option to your grandparents, then consider moving both of them to the nursing home. Many residents have their full mental faculties about them,are ambulatory and continent. Most facilities would place your grandparents in a room together. I've taken care of several "nursing home couples " and they are most often happier together in the nursing home than apart.
Everyone brought up good points. It is not an easy decision and the research for alternatives can be overwhelming, especially if you are not in the health field. The suggestion I would add is to seek a consultation with a Social Worker or other professional that specializes in Elder Care. Their are many Senior Resource type associations that can assist with seeking the appropriate assistance at home or a different setting. The spouse (if able) or next in line caretaker should speak to the grandparents' physician(s) for a medical point of view and for referrals to services that would assist in this decision making process.
First question is why? Is it necessary? Is the illness or disability of the grandparent in question hindering the daily tasks of the entire household? Or is he/she in any way a harm to him/herself and/or to the entire household? If the answer is yes, you should then consider a nursing home because of the professional help they need. Second question is the ability of the couple to decide for themselves. Normally, this question can be easily disregarded once the threat/danger is affirmed. But this is not always the case once the spouse contradicts the idea. Maybe if the remaining healthy spouse is still capable of making sound decisions, asking his/her decision to send her/his spouse away is the most logical and moral thing to do. According to a study conducted by www.acsia.com, most of the parents sent to a nursing home was not even asked for their confirmation.
by Sheila Craan 8 years ago
Is it best to put aging parents in a nursing home or have them live with you?
by Shil1978 3 years ago
Don't you think we should care for our elderly at home, rather than send them off to nursing homes?
by Nichol marie 3 years ago
In light of money being everything if your child was kidnapped and you needed to choose betweenlosing all your money to ransom or your child? or what if you had to choose between leaving your job and taking a part time job because your loved one needed your care in sickness?
by starme77 8 years ago
what experiences have you had with family members in nursing homes? good? bad?
by Charlu 6 years ago
What is the greatest gift you can give the elderly in a nursing home or assisted care facility?
by ncmonroe1981 9 years ago
Dear fellow hubbers,I live in West Virginia, U.S. I am helping to take care of my boyfriend's uncle who is disabled and wheelchair-bound. There was a period of transition between the time he left his apartment, but before our home was ready for him. During that period he stayed at a local nursing...
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