Honolulu Nursing Home

Hawaii is one of the top communities for an aging population, and Honolulu, being Hawaii’s largest city, has a set of Honolulu nursing home demands that parallel many state-side cities half it’s size.

For those of you torn between caring for an aging parent or mother in law, we just want to provide some ideas to consider when trying to choose a nursing home. First, you can let go of the guilt. It is appropriate to move the senior in need to a nursing home when the burden of caring for them is too much. The siblings who don’t help aren’t going to change. Those who aren’t helping now don’t understand how much work is involved and how hard it is, so they can be critical from miles away. Don’t let that stop you. You have the right to make this decision with your immediate family.

Next, if you need to pick a nursing home, be very careful in your choice. Don’t rely entirely on medicare.gov’s website. It has numerous defects. Use several websites to narrow your choice. Visit. Follow the good suggestions given by others about dropping in unannounced. Do the best you can in finding one that is close to where you live, so you can visit often, and your commute is easier when you’re tired.  No nursing homes are perfect, but some do a much better job than others.

As soon as you find the nursing home that suits you, talk with your spouse. Then both of you should talk with his parent, your in law.  Explain that you are tired and need help nursing the elder in need. Assure them that you won’t just be leaving them there at the home, but will still be with them as much as possible. Ask the nursing home administrator to help you explain to your family what is needed for the best care. You might also hire a geriatric care manager or social worker to help with the communication with the whole family.

Be patient. You have been carrying a burden for so long, that the family dynamic is out of balance. They may feel threatened at the idea of change.  Show them the nursing home. Show your in-law. Get them in a wheel chair, if you can, and take them around.

Good nursing homes bring relief to the patient who needs bedside care. A good nursing home may even be able to get a patient out of bed and walking again. The nursing home staff can become extra eyes and arms and legs for the rest of the family. Also, sometimes people who go to nursing home heal and come back home for a while. Or sometimes the elder’s time on earth slips away.

Communicate to your family as clearly and genuinely as you have reached out to ask for help. Don’t hold back out of false pride. After a time you will have helped your whole family work together instead of fight.

After you’ve found the right nursing home and moved the family member in, you need to take time for caring for yourself in a way that works for you. Can you go to the gym, go for a walk, get a massage? Can you spend time in contemplation, yoga, meditation or prayer?  Perhaps a support group or counselor could help. It is going to take time to unwind after what you have been through, as senior caregiving is the toughest job anyone can do.

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