Home Caregiving Issues How to Stop the Internal Struggle of Deciding Nursing Home Placement or...

How to Stop the Internal Struggle of Deciding Nursing Home Placement or Home Care

people at the office

by Mary Blakepeople at office
(Harrisburg, Pa)

Considering home care vs. nursing home, hoping to see helpful posts.

Thanks Mary for this great question,

I am going to get the ball rolling and provide my perspective of the many things a family should consider… when evaluating home care or nursing home.

First, let’s start with having a family communication meeting… to discuss what the long and short term goals are of all involved. The wishes of the senior family member needs to be considered at this time.

It is important to prepare for this meeting by doing research. Many, I will say most, caregivers never know they are agreeing to do.

Care-giving can last as long as 20 years. Our parents are living longer. Many care givers are financially affected. They become socially isolated. And experience poor health due to care giver stress and guilt.

I suggest that the primary care giver become familiar with a family care giver contract.

Setting boundaries and limits… expressing expectations and goals.. early on in the care giving process sets the tone for the future.

Everyone has expectations and boundaries from the start. Every family member knows what they will or will not do. For example… I will care for mom until… she becomes incontinent of her bowel or bladder… becomes physically aggressive, sexually acts out etc.

There are many behaviors that an aging parent may exhibit that you may never anticipate.

There are other things that family care giver needs to consider:

Maintaining outside relationships

The impact care giving may have on your home life, your job.

These are things that most care givers never consider… when thinking about home care versus nursing home placement.

Wow, you didn’t think I would suggest that you take YOU into consideration did you? Well, my friend, you are a very important part of the equation.


While I am a very strong supporter of aging in place,… I do not think it should be done at the expense of some one else’s family or life. Many care givers become socially isolated … and forget that one day care giving will end and they will have their life back.

As part of planning for home care versus nursing home placement handling care giver stress is a key to success.

I have given you a lot to think about as far as home care versus nursing home placement.

None of it addressed the things to look for as far as in home care and nursing homes or when to initiate care.

The above information is so important to consider first.

Then, when to start and learn about the different types of in home care is the next step. This website will be helpful if you choose to look for help with in home care. Use the Home Health Care Agencies Directory to find help. It is a listing of health care agencies in each state.

I hope that others will add to this and it will become more comprehensive. I think we are off to a good start.

Diane Carbo RN