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As we age, many seniors struggle to perform daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating, known as Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). For some seniors, these struggles can become so significant that they can no longer live independently. When this occurs, it is important to consider moving into a nursing home.

One of the main issues that seniors face when they are unable to perform their ADLs is a decreased quality of life. Without proper assistance, many seniors become isolated, missing out on the opportunity for socialization, which may lead to a decline in overall health and wellbeing.

Safety is also another big concern for both seniors and their family members.  Many seniors with ADL difficulties are at risk of falls, which can lead to serious injuries such as broken bones and head trauma.  Additionally, seniors who have difficulty with basic hygiene may also be at risk for infections and other health complications.

So, when is it time to consider a nursing home?  Most people consider a nursing home when you or a loved one is unable to safely perform ADLs without assistance. However, being proactive and planning ahead of time is never a bad option. Especially as those ADL tasks become increasingly more difficult.  Oftentimes, we see families in a position of having to be placed in a care facility due to a fall, infection, or sudden change of circumstances.

Some early signs to consider further advanced care options can include; 

-Inability to manage medications

-Difficulty with mobility and balance

-Difficulty with basic hygiene, such as bathing and grooming

-Inability to prepare nutritious meals

-Difficulty with activities of daily living, such as dressing and toileting

There are different levels of nursing homes to consider. This is usually dependent on the level of care that is required.  There are different types of nursing homes, including: 

  1. Skilled Nursing Facilities: These facilities provide round-the-clock medical care for those who require it.
  2. Intermediate Care Facilities: These facilities provide a lesser level of care than skilled nursing facilities, but still provide more care than assisted living facilities
  3. Assisted Living Facilities: These facilities provide assistance with ADLs, but do not provide round-the-clock medical care.

When considering a nursing home, we suggest touring the facility and asking questions about the care and services that are provided, visiting policy, staffing levels, including the ratio of staff to residents, and the qualifications and experience of the staff.

Finances are important to consider the cost of the nursing home. The cost will vary depending on the type of facility, the level of care that is required, and the location of the facility. It is important to research the costs of different nursing homes and to consider the cost in relation to the level of care that is required.

Location of the nursing home and its proximity to family and friends is another important consideration.. This will allow for easy visitations and ensure that your loved one has the support of friends and family. Many families choose to attend a private nursing home, oftentimes in neighborhoods near familiar areas and family. 

In conclusion, when seniors are unable to safely perform their ADLs, it is important to consider moving into a nursing home. There are different types of nursing homes available, each with its own level of care and cost. When choosing a nursing home, it is important to consider the level of care that is required, the location of the facility, and the cost of the facility. With careful consideration, you can find a nursing home that provides the care and support that your loved one needs.


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