It can be scary when your mom or dad has a stroke. Effects from the stroke can range from mild to severe, but one commonality is that a health scare like this often means a change in the way of life for your loved one and yourself. Whether you are already the primary caregiver for your parent, or this health event is causing you to take on a more active role, there’s one decision that folks in your position must always consider: Should I take care of my parent at home, or place mom or dad in long-term care?
Care at Home
Taking care of a loved one at home may not only include yourself or your family; it could also mean hiring part-time help from an aid or nurse or that your parent spends part of their week at an adult day community.
- You can spend more time with your loved one
- You can know what they’re doing 24/7
- You may feel that they will be happier at home
- Caregiving can be very hard on your body and your emotions
- You may have little time for yourself
- Your loved one may not be safe if you can't provide constant supervision
- Your loved one may have other health problems that need more care than you can give
Care in a Long-Term Community
- Your loved one has personal care, meals, and other needs met
- In a nursing home, your loved one also can get medical care
- A care center may have activities and social outlets to keep your loved one involved and happy
- Staff members are trained to help people keep up their daily-living skills as much as possible
- You may be able to focus on your relationship with your loved one, not on his or her daily care
- You may feel guilty if you think that you should be caring for your loved one
- You won't know how your loved one is doing at every moment of the day or be able to make sure that he or she are treated well
If your parent has had a stroke, they need a safe, healthy, and structured environment. For some families, this is no issue. In other cases, however, a nursing home that provides long-term care could be a better choice.
It’s also important to think about yourself. Caring for a parent at home takes time and work. It’s also very likely that caring for mom or dad will take away time from other people, projects, and passions in your life. Think realistically about yourself and your family’s needs. It’s not selfish to consider long-term care and it may be the best choice for you and your family.
Along those lines, it’s important to think about your own physical and emotional health. How will caring for a parent at home affect you in these ways? If you become burned out, that doesn’t help mom or dad, and only adds stress to the situation.
Care at MVH
Maine Veterans’ Homes has six Homes throughout the state that offer a variety of services, including rehabilitative or therapy services, long term care, dementia care or short term skilled nursing care. Our team of healthcare professionals will work together with you to develop a customized plan based on the needs and wants of you and your loved one.