Moving to a nursing home.

What do you do if someone who needs to seriously look at moving into a nursing facility refuses? First, you must remember that individuals have autonomy. Unless you are a court appointed conservator or guardian of this person, you cannot force someone to move into a facility. If someone you love is competent (i.e. not under a court ordered conservatorship) but refuses a much-needed move to a facility, here’s an article with several responses to the usual reasons people give for why they won’t move: These answers require work in some instances to be able to prove your point, but let that be a good reminder that you need to check your own reasoning as well. If your reasoning for wanting a loved one to move to a facility is something other than concern for the well-being of that loved one or a family member who is overburdened with the care of that loved one at home, you’re possibly on thin moral (and possibly legal) ice.

A common reason I see for refusing to move to a facility is the stereotype that nursing homes are like they were in the 90s—institutional-looking, foul-smelling places where old people sat in wheelchairs doing nothing and where people never came out until they died. A lot has gone on to change care facilities for the better in 20 years, but it’s easy to forgive people for not knowing. That old image was scary enough to keep people far, far away. The modern home is much nicer, and people are treated with far more respect and sensitivity. I’ve heard some described as either a cruise-ship on land or a college dorm. The best way to know what you’re in for is to do your homework and shop around.

I’m a big fan of making sure my elder law clients know about ways they can get the care they need. If I inform a client about all the options that are out there and they still want to stay home, I’m happy because now they’ve made an informed choice. Make sure your loved ones are making an informed choice too. Call or contact today if you want additional help.

See you on the trail.

Post by Peter Harrison.