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Does My Loved One Need a Nursing Home?

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The decision to place your loved one in a nursing home may be one of the most difficult decisions you ever have to make.  However, good communications with your loved one(s) about why this may be beneficial and your understanding of available options will make any potential transition into long term care, whether a nursing home or an assisted living environment, much easier.


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Sometimes, the decision can be obvious.  An elderly person that has already experienced a fall, a broken hip, or has been wondering the neighborhood due to progressive dementia, may need full time care immediately, and much of your investigation should then focus on the right facility.


In many other cases, perhaps you are considering this option because you are observing signs that have alarmed you in some way.  Some may appear to be minor or harmless, but others can cause harm or tragedy to your family if not properly addressed. Understanding the difference between these signs is important.


Warning signs may include an increasing problem with memory or confusion. This can be especially dangerous when it comes to forgetting to take necessary medications. Very frequently, elderly people rely on a number of medications for their well-being. Not taking medications can result in serious health conditions or even death, so this is a very important consideration. Another important factor would be if your loved one is having difficulty with getting around. This includes not only being able to walk safely, but also includes the ability to venture out into the community for goods and services that are necessary to their daily living. Loved ones who are having difficulty grocery shopping, visiting the pharmacy, or keeping doctor's appointments can point towards the beginnings of much bigger problems.  This also includes being able to operate a car or other motor vehicle safely. 


Other indicators may be more subtle and include things like a general desire of a loved one to have social interaction.  If not addressed, social isolation can lead to a general decline in one's physical health as he or she become more sedentary, spending much of their time watching television instead of participating in daily activities and interaction, such as exercise. When a loved one spends much of his or her time alone, this can lead to a general decline in their overall mental health, like depression.  Depression can then lead to further health problems such as loss of appetite, weight loss, and inattention to daily hygiene.  These in turn lead often to more serious health problems. 


Every situation is unique, but other common signs that it may be time to consider a nursing home environment include: 


  • If you, yourself, have hurt yourself like a back injury trying to care for your loved one at home.
     
  • Your loved one's Alzheimer's or dementia has progressed to the point where they try to hurt you or exhibit other behaviors such as paranoia or anger as they become more out of touch with reality.
     
  • Your loved one has begun to wander from home and has the potential to become lost, or already has gotten lost.
     
  • You are having difficulty tending to other responsibilities in life due to caring for your loved one.
     
  • Your own health is declining, possibly due to stress and depression from the overwhelming responsibility of caring for your loved one with no outside help.
     
  • Your relationships are suffering either with others or with the loved one whom you are involved in taking care of.
     
  • You have surgery or another planned medical procedure coming up soon and may be tempted to put this important matter off because of the responsibility you have caring for your loved one.
     
  • Your loved ones doctor has said that it’s time for nursing home or assisted living placement.
     
  • Your loved one has care needs that you really can’t handle very well, despite your best efforts, such as toileting, turning, repositioning, and feeding.
     
  • You've had friends or family members repeatedly express concern for you and encourage you to look into the option of a nursing home.
     
  • You already have tried other options to keep your loved one at home and they just aren't providing enough assistance to keep your loved one safe and healthy.
     

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See http://alzheimers.about.com/od/helpyoumayneed/a/How-To-Know-When-Its-Time-For-Nursing-Home-Care.htm.


There are many resources available online. Several that were helpful in this discussion include:


http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving-resource-center/info-10-2010/ho_assessing_housing_options1.html


http://health.usnews.com/health-news/best-nursing-homes/articles/2009/03/11/figure-out-whether-a-nursing-home-is-needed


http://alzheimers.about.com/od/helpyoumayneed/a/How-To-Know-When-Its-Time-For-Nursing-Home-Care.htm


http://voices.yahoo.com/the-big-decision-putting-loved-one-nursing-42894.html

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Sam has a long history of local ties to middle Georgia. He was born and reared in Marshallville, Macon County, Georgia, in a family associated with theorigin of today’s Peach industry. Sam earned his B.S. degree in Ocean Engineering at the United States Naval Academy and was commissioned in the U.S. Navy in 1993. After completing the Navy’s nuclear power training program, he served aboard a fast attack nuclear submarine as a naval Submarine Warfare Officer and was certified by the Naval Reactors Division of the U.S. Department of Energy as a Nuclear Engineer. In the Navy, Sam maintained a Top Secret – SCI security clearance and circumnavigated theworld during his tour of duty, successfully completing missions vital to U.S. national security, before beginning his legal career in 2002. Sam holds his Juris Doctor from theNorman Adrian Wiggins School of Lawat Campbell University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Sam’s practice is now devoted to representing the rights of the injured, the families of deceased victims, and a select number of other clients in litigation. He has repeatedly served as lead counsel in jury trials resulting in six and seven figure verdicts, numerous bench trials, hearings, and motions. He has been recognized as one of the top young lawyers in Georgia and named a Georgia Rising Star by Atlanta Magazine and the Super Lawyers™ publication in 2009 and 2010 (only 2.5% of the total lawyers in Georgia are listed as a Rising Star). Sam has also received the "AV" Preeminant Rating by Martindale Hubble, the highest attorney rating for demonstrated skill, professionalism and ethics. Sam is married and has three children. He is one of the founding members of the practice.

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Guest Friday, 15 December 2017