Pamela: Today, we are talking about putting the parents in a nursing home. Many caregivers ask me, can I put my parents into a nursing home? Will they go? How do I work through all of these care issues? I'm Pamela D. Wilson. My website is pamela dwilson.com on there my online caregiver courses, weekly podcast, and library for caregivers and aging adults.
Let's say that your elderly parent is still living at home, and they're having a lot of health issues, maybe they are in and out of the hospital, constantly going to doctors. They struggle to take care of themselves whether it's simple things like bathing and dressing, making meals, managing their medications or more serious things like being able to take their blood pressure to manage that, administering insulin. Maybe they have a catheter, maybe their mobility is not so well, and they need help, even just moving around the house. When care needs get serious because of health or because parents or the caregiver are struggling to provide that daily care, it's time to start looking at community care, which could be an assisted living community, but more unlikely if someone needs this type of amount of care, it's a nursing home. The key is that discussions about what I call, where care - where parents are cared for should happen years before caregiving issues begin. Because what many families don't recognize is that medicare does not pay for homecare or community care or nursing home care, except for a very short period of time if someone has health issues. So the idea of Medicaid, if families don't have financial resources comes into play, and you can think of medicaid as the word aid. Medicaid is aid for low income older adults who have health issues who need care. Mostly nursing home level of care, so things like bathing, dressing, going to the toilet mobility, maybe care because of all timers.
When it's time to talk about these discussions in families, it can be very emotional because your parents may feel like you are trying to tell them what to do or that you feel that they can't take care of themselves, and in many cases, the honest truth is they can't. They need your help. They need your support, but the idea of having to leave a home where someone has lived for twenty or thirty or forty years to move into a nursing home is not a pleasant thought. It's not a pleasant idea, but sometimes it's necessary because of the care levels that parents need if they need access to nurses and doctors and medical care and nursing home can be the right decision, but that doesn't mean that as a family member, you can just put a parent in a nursing home and disappeared. Advocacy supervision involvement is still extremely important and very necessary to make sure that your parent gets the care that he or she needs. Now, if your parents have capacity, which means that they don't have Alzheimer's or dementia or any other kind of cognitive health issues, that means that they can't make their own decisions. You can't force a parent to go into a nursing home. What you can do though is talk about the practicalities and talk about the fact that you can't always be there, that if you can't always be that caregiver, what happens if an emergency happens, and you can't show up and your parent needs care.
Talking about nursing home care and moving to a nursing home is all about managing risks, and then we have the financial component of the ability to pay for nursing home care and plan for it, and the concept of Medicaid. There are so many decisions when it comes to putting parents in a nursing home or asking yourself if you can put your parents in a nursing home. Now, if your parents have dementia or Alzheimer's and you are that legal responsible party, which means a court-appointed guardian or a medical power attorney, you do have that decision-making power to do that, even if your parents disagree, but it has to be the right decision, you can't do it just because you want to do it, and they don't need the care. It's because it would be the best thing for your parents in their best. If you are seeking more information about how to care for elderly parents, how to keep parents at home, how to make decisions about moving parents into care communities, what Medicare pays for, what Medicaid pays for, power of returning - all of this information is available on my website. I have worked in the care industry for twenty years. I have been a court-appointed guardian, a medical financial power of attorney, a care manager for thousands of families and older adults. My website is pameldwilson.com. On there, you will find my online caregiver courses options for scheduling personal consultations with me. My weekly podcast called the Carrying Generation and many, many articles in my caregiver library. Iím Pamela D. Wilson. Thanks for watching this video. Please share it with other people. You know who are looking for help, help support, and trustworthy information about caring for themselves for aging parents, a spouse, or another family member. I'll see you again soon in another video.