Scenario 3: Nursing home concerns

Bob always said he never wanted to go into a nursing home but we cannot give him the care he needs any longer. How can we make the decision to put him in a nursing home when we know it’s against his wishes?

  • This can be one of the hardest decisions for family members to make.
  • While it is important to honour the person’s wishes as far as possible, this is not always possible.
  • The person’s condition may deteriorate to a point where they need more medical and nursing care that is impossible to provide at home. The family may not have the resources and support to be able to provide the care needed, or the carer themselves may be frail and unwell.
  • Sometimes the local public health and community care systems can provide care in the home, but this is not always the case.
  • If the person has to go into care, try to ensure the environment and the level and standard of care are in line with what they would want.
  • Emphasise the positive aspects of this move to the nursing home:
    • They will get comprehensive and safe 24-hour care.
    • The extra care and support may lead to an improvement in their overall health and functioning.
    • The family carer – freed up from the physical care – will be able to maintain their own health and wellbeing at the same time as focusing on the emotional and social support of the person.