Why Placing a Parent into a Care Home is Such a Difficult Decision
Caring for an elderly parent can be immensely rewarding but it may also become challenging. While many people want to be able to stay in their own home and remain as independent as possible, unless there is adequate care available it can prove difficult to do this as time goes on.
Particularly with degenerative conditions such as dementia, the decision making could well be left to the family who then have to weigh the pros and cons in respect of the benefit of the individual.
Family members will often feel guilty that they are not able to provide the necessary care themselves. If you’re working full-time and have your own family to look after, it can be virtually impossible to do this. The biggest worry is whether they are doing the right thing.
At Wessex Care we regularly come across 3 big reasons that placing a parent into a care home can be one of the most difficult decisions you might have to make.
Your Parent’s Wishes
You may have promised your mum or dad that they would be able to live in their home for as long as possible. We see our homes as sacrosanct, a part of who we are, so it’s no wonder that we attach so much meaning to them.
It’s a good idea to discuss options with a loved one before it gets to the stage where they may not fully understand what is going on. At least then, you have an idea of what’s best and how that fits with their wishes.
The Quality of the Care Home
One big issue that people worry about is the quality of the care home itself. It’s natural to be wary as you plan to relinquish the responsibility of care of a loved one to someone else.
That’s why you need to do your due diligence and make sure that any home you choose has all the facilities and qualified staff to care for your relative in the best possible way. Some questions to ask may include:
- Do you have CCTV?
- How qualified are the staff and what kind of care do they provide?
- Do you have nurses and or other specialist staff available on site?
- What were the results of the most recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection?
- Are the meals varied, high quality and nutritionally balanced?
- How often are care plans reviewed?
- Will you be involved in your loved ones care plan?
Is it the Right Time?
Many of us wonder if it’s the right time to move to a care home. Yes, there may be a number of issues. You might be worried that your loved one will have a fall and be left lying injured for a long period of time until help arrives. You could be concerned that they will leave the gas on when cooking because they are forgetful. You may be fearful of leaving them alone at night.
These are genuine concerns and require a careful balance when it comes to finding the right solutions. Talking with an experienced caregiver can help work out what is best for your mum, dad or relative and still keep them safe.
Exploring the Options
It’s normal to have many questions that need to be answered when it comes to placing your loved one in a residential care home. It’s important to explore the options. The overall level of home or community care, where carers come out to visit, for instance, has improved dramatically across the UK over the last decade. This provides an alternative for people who need a certain amount of support but want to have this in their own home and maintain some of their independence.
The key is to decide what’s best for the individual and how you can help them live well. If you can no longer provide the support they need, either through a care agency or yourself, it may be better for them to move to a place where professional staff can keep an eye on them. And just because someone moves to a care home doesn’t mean they are going to stop doing the things they love or living life to the full. Use our guide for ‘Types of Care’ to help in your decision making process.
If you need more advice and have any concerns about making future care plans for a family member, feel free to get in touch with the team at Wessex Care.