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A 49-year-old female asked:

When do you know its time for a dementia patient to go to a nursing home? mother is 85 years old..lives alone in apartment..forgetful, but otherwise good health..apartment is extremely clean and tidy, makes her own meals, walks independently. siblings w

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
The : The basic reason for a person to live permanently at a nursing home is if they can not function without assistance. Can the person handle every day tasks of living such as brushing their teeth, washing themself, dressing themself? Does the person engage in unsafe behaviors such as forgetting to turn off the oven? Does the person have a medical condition that would make it unsafe to live alone such as falling often or seizures? Is the person depressed and isolating themself? I think that it is excellent that your mother continues to interact with others and that she maintains her own home and makes her own meals. Many elderly people who have difficulty with some of those activities of daily living, may still elect to live independently in their own home but might have some meals delivered or might have maid service. Sometimes relatives want their elders to be placed in nursing homes so that they will not worry about them. I think it is very important to ask the person what their desire is.
Dr. Reynald Ferraz
Psychiatry 29 years experience
There : There are other social services related items you need to look into and they depend on availability and you and your mother's resources. For matters of impaired financial abilities of a person, services use can include bill paying services or from a legal perspective conservatorship, durable power of attorney, or a representative payee. For health related concerns, a visiting nurse, a pill dispensing system, telephone reminding system may help. For independent living issues, a home health aide and emergency call system are solutions before assisted living and nursing home living. For the most part, family decisions involving someone with dementia means the people who've been caring for such person are going through significant financial, economic, and emotional strain/burden/hardship assisting such loved one and social services are unable to keep up with the demands of such person with dementia.
Dr. Raveendra Suryadevara
A Verified Doctoranswered
53 years experience
She : She has supportive family and that is good. Since family members are visiting her daily, they will have an opportunity to recognize any changes in mother`s behaviors. Early recognition can lead to early intervention. If the family members feel that the mother is not able to care for herself anymore, that is the time for placement of your mother in a nursing home. Meanwhile, the family has to initiate a process to get a legal guardian appointed for dealing with matters like making decisions for medical care, management of finances and all other relevant matters. Your county office can provide information about how to initiate the process for appointment of legal guardian or whatever legal term they use in your state of residence.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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