By Clare Absher RN, BSN
Employ "Operation Breakout from Nursing Home" to spring your Mom out of the old folk's home or liberate your Dad from convalescence care.
Whether your parents have endured a short stay or an extended visit in a nursing home, it is not uncommon for them to vehemently protest staying any longer than necessary. You may hear comments such as: "I hate it here" "I'm desperately home-sick" "They treat me terrible" or still worse "I'm going to die alone in here." It should come as no surprise that institutional living is often an unsolicited, if not dreaded, lifestyle for many of our parents. Furthermore, nursing home placement may have been forced upon our elderly loved ones as a result of circumstances that are no longer relevant.
Very likely your family, similar to many other families, will view a breakout from the old folk's home in a positive light with regard to their parents' overall welfare. Our elderly loved ones' convincing claim that returning home will bring them great joy can drive us to facilitate this move. Living out your golden years at home, otherwise known as aging in place, is by far the most popular trend of older adults. The question is whether it is realistic for your parent(s) to age in place, how to ensure they are safe and secure in their home and how to elude re-admission to the nursing home.
My nursing experience, along with my own family caregiving experiences, lends me to advise families that mindful decision making and thorough preparation is key to making this transition successful. Attention to details are fundamental when adapting the home with safety equipment to enhance mobility, prevent falls, and provide security. Undertaking major modifications such as installing ramps, elevators, walk-in showers and widening doorways may be necessary prior to your folk's "escape" back to their home. Arranging in-home care services in advance is paramount, with full acceptance and responsibility of hiring outside help on the part of your parents. Long-term financial planning must include budgeting for home ownership costs and in-home care services.
Utilize our Three Phase Planning Guide to help your family plot the course for nursing home liberation. Deliberate, strategize, prioritize, and hopefully opt to commence with "Operation Breakout from Nursing Home."
Phase 1: Meet with Your Family