When a Nursing Home is the Best Choice for Everyone

As the Baby Boomer generation ages, more and more families are struggling to live with a loved-one suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.  While memory loss can be a frightening experience for an aging parent or grandparent, its’ impact on the family can be equally frightening, particularly when there are young children in the home.

There are a host of reasons why people invite an aging parent or grandparent to move in with them and their family.  It might simply “feel” like the right thing to do; the home could be old and in need of serious repair, and perhaps they have fallen or have been injured as a result of the conditions of the premises.

It might be easy to dismiss occasional forgetfulness as normal – the elder may even laugh at, or make fun of their own inability to recall something.  However, when living with someone suffering from a progressive form of dementia, it does not take long to realize the differences between it, and mere forgetfulness.

The transition can be even more difficult when children are part of an active household.  When an aging relative has lived alone for many years, this can be especially pronounced.

Unfortunately, it can get to the point that it is not possible to care for one’s own children as well as an aging parent or grandparent at the same time. The needs of one are often diametrically opposed to the other.

Individuals placed in an environment catering to the specific needs of those with cognitive impairments such as dementia, quite often are truly better off.  Age-appropriate activities and companionship with people one’s own age is an important aspect not to be overlooked.  While it can be a painful reality to accept, quite often others are far better equipped to provide the care a patient with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

As our population ages, and people live far beyond the life expectancy of even 20 years ago, more and more families will be forced to acknowledge their limitations.  Choosing to place a family member in a nursing home is not an admission of failure, but an acceptance of the fact that prolonged life expectancy carries with it a need for more complex care than the vast majority of us can ever hope to provide.


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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.