Our friend, Betty, was 86 years old and getting frail. Each day brought new problems.
She had been living in her home for many years, but just a few months ago she was hospitalized for a respiratory infection. As the time came for her to be discharged from the hospital, her family pondered what was the right choice for Betty's care now.
She was going to need some one to make sure she took her meds. And check her vital signs like blood pressure. Aside from continuing nursing care, she was going to need help with meals and getting dressed.
Was it time for her to enter a nursing home?
The answer was no. After consulting with the discharge planner and social worker at her hospital, and after talking with the local Area Agency on Aging, her family learned that Betty could get the help she needed and stay in the home she loved. A Home Health Nursing agency would supply both the nursing and personal care that Betty needed. There would be help with daily living tasks like getting dressed and bathing. The Senior Services agency in her town would help with some of meals Betty needed.
The point of this short story is that it pays to look into alternatives to a nursing home. Find the experts who can advise your family about long term care choices and take the time to listen to them. Ask questions.
Betty's situation was just one of many possible outcomes for someone like her. A Nursing Home might be your best choice for good long term care. But don't make that decision without investigating all the other possible answers to this important decision.