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As Parents Age
A Psychological and Practical Guide
by Joseph A. Ilardo, PhD, LCSW

From Chapter 6: When a Parent Must Leave Home


The three ways in which elderly people most often arrive in nursing facilities are (1) after voluntary long-range planning, or (2) along an incremental and involuntary path, or (3) on sudden placement after a traumatic event. There are ways to gauge whether your elderly parent is a candidate for institutional care. The many institutional care options currently available include continuing-care retirement communities and several types of more traditional nursing facilities. The chapter emphasized the importance of keeping all interested parties, especially your parent, informed and involved in the decision to institutionalize; planning ahead in order to avoid making last-minute decisions without adequate thought and in an emotionally charged atmosphere; and viewing the nursing home as an extension of home care and viewing the staff and administration of any institution as members of your eldercare team.
There is a correlation between the funding of nursing facilities and quality assurance, and there are ways to evaluate an institution, both in general and in terms of its suitability for your parent. Finally, one can ease adjustment problems by anticipating, planning for, and managing the problems.
In the next chapter, you will read about decisions associated with planning for the end of life, including advance directives and other topics.

All excerpts from As Parents Age,
Copyright 1998 by Joseph A. Ilardo, PhD, LCSW

© VanderWyk & Burnham. All Rights Reserved.