As your parents age, you will likely see declines in their abilities. Though you love them dearly and do all you can to care for them in the comfort of their own home, at some point you may be faced with the decision to help your mom and dad move into an assisted living facility. This could be helpful in many ways. However, you might struggle with knowing when it is necessary.
Although your experience with your parents will probably vary, Celie Jenkins’ experience might help. Celie works as a registered nurse in a nursing home in Coral Springs. She is specifically trained on providing care for older adults. Challenging though the dementia patients on her ward can be, Celie loves her job. And up until last September, she also took great pride in caring for her parents in their Hollywood home.
Evaluating The Necessity Of A Care Facility
For many years, Celie considered it a joy to drive to her parents’ home twice weekly. She enjoyed visiting with her mom while preparing meals and cherished the time she could help her dad with his projects around the home. While she was able to monitor their health and well-being, Celie felt good about helping her parents maintain their independence.
When Celie started noticing serious changes in her mother, she had to make some decisions, and in a hurry. Her considerations included:
- Increased falls. Although Celie’s mom had fallen previously, tripping was becoming more common. So were the trips to the emergency department. Considering her fragility, Celie feared that one of her mom’s falls might result in a serious injury such as a broken hip.
- Lack of interaction. While Celie’s parents were always happy to see her, Celie began noticing that her parents rarely left the house. Their stories of time spent with friends diminished, and her dad spent more time in the den during her visits. At the same time, while Celie was happy to help, she had a hard time admitting her social life suffered as her visits to support her parents became more frequent.
- Frequent incontinence. Neither of Celie’s parents had struggled with incontinence, but as trips to the bathroom increased, the laundry and cleaning demands grew as well. As a nurse, Celie was no stranger to cleaning up bodily fluids. However, she grew concerned about her parents living in an unsanitary environment. This is one of the reasons why Celie’s anxiety increased on days she was unable to get to her parents’ home.
For Celie, changes in her parents were hard to accept. However, once she came to understand that helping her parents move into a facility with around-the-clock care would not only provide for safer living conditions for them, but also decrease stress and worry for herself, she began to encourage her parents to make that move.
With her parents now receiving care in their assisted living community, Celie believes she made the right choice. Their physical needs are met. And they are thriving while developing new friendships. Meanwhile, Celie is able to relax, knowing she did all she could for as long as she could and acted in the best interest of her parents.