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Who Should Take Care of Your Ailing Loved One?

When you notice an aging relative’s health start to decline, you have to start considering whether it’s smart to keep them at home or whether they might belong in a nursing facility. Here are several questions you can ask yourself to figure out where this person should go.

1.) What Kind of Care Do They Need?

Sometimes, it’s not so obvious who should be caring for your loved one. Even when it is—maybe they obviously belong in a nursing home—a concerned relative or spouse will still insist on taking care of them at home. This can be dangerous, though, and you need to put the ill one’s well-being first.

What is their current condition, and are they expected to decline? What kind of procedures, medications, and machines will they need to rest comfortably? Are you putting them at a disadvantage by keeping them at home, or is this the better option for them? Do they have a condition or disease that is way out of your realm of understanding and should be monitored by strictly professionals?

2.) How Much Money Do You Have to Spend?

Health care isn’t cheap, no matter how you cut it; but there are certain expenses to consider. Putting your loved one in in-patient care can cost up to thousands of dollars a week, depending on the care they require. There’s the cost of the facility/room itself, the staff, food, activities, etc.

Caring for someone at home, however, can rack up quite a bill as well, since you might end up turning your home into a makeshift hospital. If you’re going to care for this person yourself, make sure you account for costs like nurses, aids, a hospital bed, a lift (in case they need to get up and down the stairs but can’t), a handicapped bathroom, in-home doctor visits, and the cost of transporting them to offices and hospitals when you need something out of the home.

Do the math for both options and see which one fits more comfortably within your budget. Also find out how your insurance company can help you.

3.) What Kind of Condition are You in, Physically and Emotionally?

Your own state of health needs to be taken into consideration. Being responsible for your ailing loved one is a huge responsibility, both physically and mentally. For example, are you able to lift your loved one and lay them back down? Can you help them with their therapy, change their clothes, bathe them?

What about caring for them on a more mental/cognitive level? Are you able to provide the mental stimulation they need? Can you read to them? Sing with them? Talk to them on their level? Even so, can you handle it yourself, long-term? You have to be able to care for not only your own mind, but the mind of another. It’s a huge responsibility. If you’re not in the shape to accomplish all of these things, you might want to consider passing the responsibility off to a professional.

The patient is the number one priority; so even if it’s painful to move them out of the house, just remember that you’re doing the best thing for them.

Nancy Meyers writes for education blogs where you can read more about the Top 10 Best Online Healthcare MBA Degree Programs.