When is it time for a nursing home?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Teresa Ballard 9 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #58371 Reply

    Marlene H

    I have been taking care of my mom for 5 yrs, severe Alzheimer’s dementia, she has been fully dependant that long, health is good . My question is at what point did you decide to seek a nursing home? I cannot leave her to work, or afford in home care, have found no help through social services .We have been completely depleted of funds, savings, gave up our home,now loosing her home and wondering if its time to give up and place her ?

  • #58529 Reply


    It sounds like it’s past time. You’ve made amazing sacrifices, but you also need to make sure you’ll be okay. If you lose everything to care for her, you’ll end up in even worse shape. Plus, putting someone in a home still means a lot of work for family caregivers!

  • #59502 Reply


    I agree, it’s past time. I don’t know what state you live in so the hoops you need to jump through (there will be many) might be different than mine were in Colorado. In my case, my mom has some form of dementia (probably a mixture of vascular and ALZ), and so many different health problems I don’t have room to list them here. Your first hurdle is to find a good, reputable home that can take her. She will probably need to be put on Medicaid sooner rather than later if she’s not already on it, so make sure they will accept her as a Medicaid resident. They need to have an Alzheimer’s ward, for sure. Skilled nursing facilities are very expensive, and it sounds like you are already in a bad spot there.
    In my case, my stress level caused by taking care of first both parents, my father’s death 3 years ago, and then 3 years of being a 24/7 caregiver for my mother……I started falling apart. Mentally, physically, emotionally…..I was a wreck. My hair was falling out by the handful, my mother & I were butting heads constantly, and I had to accommodate wound care nurses coming into my home 7 days a week for one of the health issues. Cue in screaming and wailing on mom’s part, sometimes before they even touched her. I was just about to lose my mind. I put her in an assisted living facility in March (in the nick of time) just before she had to have the finger amputated, then she started falling constantly (she scalped an area of skin off the back of her head the diameter of a tennis ball), she had a brain bleed start from the impact, after all that had almost healed, then her toe got infected, just like the finger. We find out Friday if it will need to be amputated too. I the middle of all this (after I mentioned the Medicaid word to the facility bookkeeper), they basically kicked her out and we had to put her in a skilled nursing facility.
    Get your mom on Medicaid as soon as possible. It’s an incredible pain in the rear, but it’s gotta be done. While you’re doing that, find a good facility that will take her and pray like crazy that their waiting list isn’t very long. We had to wait 3 months before a spot opened up. Good luck, and please get started before your hair starts falling out, if it hasn’t already!
    At the time I put my mom in assisted living, I had been my parents caregiver (along with a LOT of help from my daughter) for 12 years. I had to quit my career 10 years ago, because a day is only 24 hours long, and that wasn’t enough time for it all. I still have to go to the nursing home and medical appointments 3-4 days a week, so looking for a job isn’t an option yet….and I’m about to turn 60. Yeah, not expecting much luck there, I’m certain I won’t be able to find anything comparable to what I was making when everything hit the fan in 2005.

  • #59553 Reply

    Teresa Ballard

    My mom has lived with me 4 years since her husband (not my father) died. She has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Diease and is having more and more trouble taking care of herself. What are the signs that it’s time for a nursing home? She is 87 and still manages her medications and money but has difficulty hearing and getting around.
    Thank you for responding

  • #60019 Reply


    Teresa, please keep a very close eye on how well she is *actually* doing with the meds and finances. Elderly people who are starting to struggle with these issues are very apt to not tell you when problems start. They might not even be aware that there IS a problem. Keep a close eye on stuff, but don’t cross that line until you need to. In my case, my father called me to come help my mom (a lifetime bookkeeper) balance their multiple checking accounts. She was in tears, humiliated, and it took a very soft approach before she’d let me step in. THEN I found all the unpaid bills, etc. Then I started looking at her prescription medication pill containers. She had forgotten to take her pills for the last three days at that point (I assume, it could have been much longer). That’s when I had to step into the parent mode with mom. Of course, she didn’t like it at the time, but I could tell after a couple of months that she was relieved that the burden was off her shoulders (plus the freakin bills were being paid on time again). It would have gotten way, way worse if my dad hadn’t called me that day. It was a few more years, and after the death of my father, before I had to put her into extended care……but I shudder to think of what would have happened if my dad hadn’t asked me to step in. Just double check stuff when she’s not looking. If everything looks okay (no late notices, no pills being missed), then you will be okay for a while…..but it might be a very short while.

    • #60250 Reply

      Teresa Ballard

      Thank you for the heads-up. I will do that!!

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