When should a loved one go into a nursing home?

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Making the decision to move a loved one into a nursing home can be difficult. You might feel guilty and upset, but it is often the right decision for both yourself and your loved one. A nursing home can provide the right level of care and attention for those who have additional needs or complex medical conditions so they can continue to lead happy and comfortable lives.

But when should someone go into a nursing home? How can you tell if your loved one would benefit from receiving care from full-time nursing staff?

In this post, we will cover when someone should go into a nursing home, what signs you should look out for and how you can make the move easier and less stressful.

In this article we discuss:

Nursing homes: When is the right time to go?
Things to look out for
Who makes the decision?
What are the benefits of moving into nursing care?
How long does the moving process take?
Our advice for the move and afterwards

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Nursing homes: When is the right time to go?

You know your loved one better than anyone, and you may have noticed changes to their physical and mental health, or perhaps shifts in their behaviour over the last few months. It is when these changes begin to impact their wellbeing or their ability to care for themselves that you should consider providing them with full-time, professional nursing care.

If your loved one has an illness or other medical concerns, they may worsen over time which could mean they require more regular or specialist attention. This can be difficult and time-consuming for you and other relatives, which can have an impact on your own mental and physical health.

If your loved one needs additional care which you and others struggle to provide, it is likely that a nursing home can help and should be a serious consideration.

Things to look out for

There are several signs to look out which mean it might be time for your loved one to move into a nursing home:

  • They struggle to look after themselves due to mobility issues or cognitive decline. This could be something major such as the inability to dress themselves or use the toilet, or something small such as making a cup of tea. They may also find it difficult to eat or struggle to take medication by themselves.
  • They may be prone to anxiety or panic and frequently call you for help.
  • They require complex or time-consuming medical care which you may struggle to provide. This may worsen or become more complex over time.
  • You feel stressed or under pressure to provide care, which you may do while trying to work or look after children.
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Who makes the decision?

If your loved one is in a position to, they may make the decision to move into a nursing home themselves, to ensure they receive the best care and also alleviate you and others.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case, especially if your loved one has experienced cognitive decline. In this instance, you or another loved one may have to make the decision on their behalf.

Alternatively, you could speak to your local authority and request a needs assessment, so an adult social worker can help you secure the care your loved one needs.

What are the benefits of moving into a nursing home?

There are many benefits that mean nursing care is likely the best option for your loved one. These include:

  • Around-the-clock, professional and empathetic care.
  • 24/7 care from a qualified nurse who can help with challenging medical conditions and immediately respond to emergencies.
  • Increased safety and accessibility.
  • More social interactions with like-minded residents.
  • Greater structure and routine.
  • Regular, home-cooked meals.
  • Respite and peace of mind for you and other relatives.

For more information, read our post on the benefits of nursing care.

How long does the moving process typically take?

The length of time it takes to move into a nursing home depends on whether or not your loved one requires financial support. If they have savings and can pay for care themselves, so long as your chosen nursing home has space, they should be able to move in quite quickly. If your loved one needs financial support, you can request a financial assessment to determine how much support they qualify for.

Unfortunately, this process may take several months, but it is worth it to ensure your loved one receives the care they need.

Our advice for the move and afterwards

To make sure the move is as easy as possible, adult day care helps your loved one get used to spending time in a nursing home environment. That way, they can get to know staff and other residents over time and build familiarity.

Making their new room homely and recognisable can help your loved one settle into their new surroundings. This includes furniture, photographs and decor they can bring from home.

We also recommend giving your loved one time to settle into the home. This involves resisting the urge to visit too soon after the move, as it can cause upset and confusion.

For more information, read our post on moving into a nursing home, or contact our expert team with any questions you may have.

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We offer personal, one-on-one nursing care to give your loved one the dignity and independence they deserve. Contact us today to find out more about the care we can provide your loved one at our nursing homes across the UK.

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As well as dedicated nursing care, we offer adult day caredementia care, end of life care, respite care and residential care in our homes throughout the UK.

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