When One Parent Needs Long-Term Care

Author: AB Staff

When One Parent Needs Long-Term Care


If you have one parent who may need long-term care in a nursing home but another who does not, it can become a dilemma. After all, if your parent needs professional care, your other parent cannot just continue to be the sole caretaker. To help one parent move to a nursing home and the other adapt, Age Brilliantly shares some steps you can take.

1. Begin Compassionately

Talking to your parents about long-term care does not always go smoothly. The parent who needs nursing home care may become angry or deny the need for help. Try to create a dialogue where every person has a say in the matter. You may need to explain that to keep your well parent healthy, the other needs to go to long-term care, and to keep your other parent safe and taken care of, he or she needs professional help.

2. Find the Best Match Nursing Home

According to the National Institute on Aging, nursing homes provide 24-hour supervision, three meals a day, rehabilitative services, and more. Your loved one’s needs will determine the type of care he or she receives. When choosing a nursing home, think about what matters to you and your parents. Make phone calls and ask your friends and family to find out which places offer the best care. You can also look online to find detailed facility reports, pricing info, payment options, and reviews from other families for nursing homes in your area. 

To decide on a nursing home, you also need to determine how your parents can afford it. Seniors pay for nursing homes through private funds, pension payments, personal savings, and health insurance. Your parents may decide to sell the family home to free up the money. Do not overestimate the cost of the house. Your loved one may also be able to use home equity loans to use the house as collateral. You can determine equity by subtracting the owed amount from the current market value.

3. Help Your Parent Downsize

Once you make nursing home arrangements, work with your parents to downsize. The best way to downsize is first to declutter. Help your parents sort through items they need and which you can sell, donate or give to other members of the family. You should always prioritize essential and sentimental items. After the move, your parent will feel more comfortable in a home full of his or her belongings.

4. Consider New Living Arrangements

Your independent parent may want to move into the next stage of his or her life or it may make more sense financially and practically to move elsewhere. Some people may want a smaller home, whereas others may consider senior apartments. Retirement communities vary when it comes to amenities. Some facilities provide housekeeping, scheduled transportation, and medical visits. Living in a retirement community may also allow your parent to be a part of a wider community, make friends, and feel less alone.

5. Take Time for Yourself

AgingCare.com notes that it’s normal to begin to feel guilt during this process, but remind yourself that you did not cause the situation. Your loved one’s age or illness is not your fault, and neither is the fact that professional care is necessary and best for your parent. Take care of yourself and advocate and help your parents, but focus some of your energy on your own relationships and life too.

When it comes to moving a senior parent into a nursing home, you may find it becomes stressful for all parties. Being compassionate is essential, and knowing how to help both parents can make the process smoother for everyone involved.