As our loved ones age, ensuring they receive the care and support they need to maintain their quality of life becomes increasingly important. While many families prefer to care for their elderly relatives at home, there may come a time when a nursing home facility is the best option, and in the US, 1.3 million people currently live in nursing homes. Knowing when to make this difficult decision can be challenging, but several key indicators can help guide you. 

This article will explore three signs that your loved one may need to be in a nursing home facility.

1. Declining Physical Health

One of the most apparent signs that your loved one may require nursing home care is a significant decline in their physical health. This can manifest in various ways, such as:

  • Increased difficulty with mobility, leading to frequent falls or accidents
  • Inability to perform daily tasks like bathing, dressing, or eating without assistance
  • Chronic health conditions that require constant monitoring and medical attention

2. Cognitive Decline and Memory Loss

Another important sign to watch for is a decline in your loved one’s cognitive function and memory. Some common indicators include:

  • Forgetting to take medications or taking them incorrectly
  • Getting lost in familiar places or wandering away from home
  • Difficulty with problem-solving or decision-making
  • Changes in mood or behavior, such as increased agitation or confusion

3. Caregiver Burnout

Caring for an elderly or ill loved one can be physically and emotionally demanding, often leading to caregiver burnout. Signs that you or other family members may be experiencing caregiver burnout include:

  • Feeling constantly exhausted or overwhelmed
  • Neglecting your own health and well-being
  • Experiencing feelings of anger, resentment, or guilt towards your loved one
  • Struggling to balance caregiving responsibilities with work and other commitments

How To Choose the Right Nursing Home:

Once you have determined that a nursing home facility is the best option for your loved one, it is crucial to choose the right one. When evaluating potential facilities, consider the following factors:

  • Staffing levels and qualifications
  • Cleanliness and overall appearance of the facility
  • Availability of specialized care (e.g., memory care, rehabilitation services)
  • Resident satisfaction and family reviews
  • Location and proximity to family members

It is also essential to visit the facility in person, ask questions, and trust your instincts when deciding.

Suspected Abuse in Nursing Homes

Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is a serious problem in the United States. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 and older have experienced some form of elder abuse. Additionally, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that from the years 2002 to 2016, over 640,000 seniors were treated in the ER for assault. Furthermore, a 2019 CMS report stated that 38% of nursing homes in the US were rated ‘below average’ when it came to care standards.

If you suspect that your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home facility, it is crucial to take immediate action. For example, Suppose your loved one is being abused in a nursing home in the State of Kentucky. In that case, you should consult right away with an experienced Kentucky nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your legal options and ensure that your loved one’s rights are protected.

Signs of abuse may include unexplained injuries, changes in behavior, or unsanitary living conditions. If you notice these signs, report your concerns to the facility’s management or contact local law enforcement. 

Recognizing the signs that your loved one may need nursing home care is an essential step in ensuring their safety and well-being. By carefully evaluating potential facilities and remaining vigilant for signs of abuse, you can help your loved one receive the care and support they need during this challenging time.