Nursing Home Feed

Our culture is steeped in language that makes accepting the terminal diagnosis of ourselves or a loved one more difficult to accept than it needs to be. Doctors say, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more we can do. You might want to look into hospice care.” Patients tell their doctors that they want “aggressive treatment,” until there is nothing else that can be done, then they will go on hospice care. Read more →


Sex and death. It's odd that those two topics should bring so much anxiety to parents and children. But, there you have it. One – sex – is about the beginning of life. The other – death – is about the end. Both are a part of the lifecycle, but if anything, sex is easier for many to discuss than death. Read more →


Dear Carol: Four months ago, my mother fell and broke her hip. She was admitted to the hospital for surgery and then sent to a nursing home rehab. The care seems good but Mom has completely changed. Before the fall, she was mentally sharp for someone nearly 80. Her only issue was an occasional memory gap. Then, right after the emergency surgery, she began showing signs dementia. She’s only worsened in rehab. The facility doctor says that she has Alzheimer’s, but how could that happen so fast? I thought that Alzheimer’s took time to develop. How could she go from having almost no sign of Alzheimer’s to hardly knowing me in just four months?– DN Read more →


It’s not hard to understand why 60-year-olds would say that they want to remain in their home for life rather than move to assisted living or a nursing home. These are generally people who are relatively healthy and feel that they can hire help for whatever they need down the road. Indeed, aging in place sounds like a wonderful concept. What could possibly be wrong with it?  Read more →


... So, with some guilt, we start looking at other options. For some people, this means having your parents move in with you. If there is enough room so everyone has privacy and the personalities blend, this can work. However, before making such a move, make sure your head is as engaged as your heart. While you are considering this option, you also may want to read "Living With Elderly Parents: Do You Regret the Decision?" Read more →


Dear Carol: My mom moved into the memory unit of an assisted living last year and she loves it. She’s very social so this environment is perfect for her. Now, my brother has suddenly decided that he wants Mom to come and stay with him for the winter since he lives in a warmer climate. He’s the man so he has the Power Of Attorney. Mom doesn’t want to leave her comfortable little apartment, but she’s said if he really wants her there for a time, she should do it. My fear is that the move could make her dementia worse. My brother says he just wants to spend more time with Mom, but he's never been that close so the only true motivation that I can see is that he knows how expensive AL is and he’s struggling financially. I think that he wants to save the estate money. I’m not trying to keep Mom in my town to be selfish. I just want her happy. How do I handle this? – SD Read more →


Dear Carol: My husband and I are trying to help my brother select a retirement community that would also offer assisted living for his future needs. He’s 74 and has early Parkinson's disease so he wants to make this move soon. Our experience with trying to decipher the pricing structures of the places that we visited has been enormously frustrating. Is there some sort of resource that covers retirement living contracts that transition to assisted living and perhaps even nursing care? We really need some guidance. Thanks for any help that you can provide. – TL Read more →


I should add a caveat for anyone thinking of moving an elder to Latin America. Our experience involved caring for an elderly person who was relatively healthy. Apart from Alzheimer’s, my octogenarian father didn’t have any major chronic illnesses. He had an enlarged heart that wasn’t giving him trouble at the time we moved him. Our care focus was on getting help with the daily tasks of living, not caring for someone with a chronic illness who needed serious medical interventions. Read more →


Conventional wisdom says that we all want to stay in our own homes for as long as we can. That is likely how most of our elders feel; however, it's not always in their best interest to do so. How do we talk with them about the realities and dangers of staying at home once their health is failing, and how do we convince them that a move to an assisted living center could be a very good – and positive option? Read more →


Dear Carol: My mother has always refused to take any medication even though she’s needed a prescription to control her blood pressure for years. Predictably, at 74, she had a massive stroke and now she will require around-the-clock care for the rest of her life. There is no sign of dementia. Mom’s in a nursing home and getting great care but she is extremely angry and she focuses that anger at me. I can’t provide the care that she needs at home, but I still feel guilty about placing her in a facility and she knows how to manipulate that guilt. I visit daily. I know that I’m doing all that I can, yet her anger gets to me and then I start resenting her. How do I change this? Donna Read more →