Difficult Decisions: Deciding When and If a Nursing Home is an Option for Your Loved One

By Guest Blogger Adena Twersky, MSW, LSW, Director of Admissions at Daughters of Israel

Many people ask when it’s time to consider placement of their loved one in a long-term care facility. It’s certainly a difficult question to consider and frequently evokes feelings of guilt, as well as discord upon family members, who may not agree upon a plan.

When I meet with prospective family members, I can deeply empathize with the emotions that they are feeling, as I myself have experienced it on a personal level. As I have been in admissions for more than 17 years and in the social work profession for 24 years, one might think that I have become immune to the outpouring of emotions from family members. However, on the contrary, I have become more empathetic to their situations over time. Simply said, it never gets easier.

I often suggest that prospective family members consider some indicators to help assess if there is a need for long-term skilled nursing care. Has their loved one:

  • Recently undergone multiple hospitalizations and/or is medically unstable?
  • Received a diagnosis of congestive heart failure?
  • Experienced frequent falls?
  • Been deteriorating due to uncontrolled diabetes?
  • Undergone a change in their mental status?

There are also financial questions that I ask prospective family members to consider. Is home health care an affordable option? Are there funds available to be able to sustain the level of home care required on a regular basis?

Finally, the caregiver needs to determine if they can handle the coordination of care required for their loved one at home. Are the physical and/or emotional aspects too overwhelming, or is it a manageable situation for them?

If we do indeed decide that the family’s loved one is an ideal candidate for our Home, we conduct a very thorough assessment of the individual. It is a high priority for us to insure that the resident is placed in a specific living pavilion according to their physical and cognitive abilities. The placement of the individual is crucial in helping the family’s loved one feel comfortable and acclimate nicely to their new Home.

Daughters of Israel, located in West Orange, NJ, is a short-term rehabilitation and long-term skilled nursing facility, which includes a State-certified Alzheimer’s Care unit. If you have any questions about the admissions process, or are interested in visiting Daughters of Israel, please contact me at atwersky@daughtersofisrael.org or at 973-400-3307.

Adena Twersky, MSW, LSW, Director of Admissions, Daughters of Israel.

Benjamin D. Eckman, Esq. concentrates his practice on Elder Law & Estate Planning. Elder law is intended to broadly assist “extended living”. An elder law practitioner provides the legal information necessary for persons whose lives will extend or have already extended beyond the time when all children are usually out of the house and when regular employment ceases. After the elder law attorney and client complete their work, legal documents have been drafted, tax considerations have been analyzed, and a plan to protect the elder’s estate has been implemented.

Benjamin D. Eckman’s practice focuses on Estate Planning & Elder Law – legal issues facing senior citizens. Benjamin D. Eckman received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business/Accounting from Touro College and his law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Elder Law Section and Real Property, Probate and Trust Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Union County Bar Association, Passaic County Bar Association and the Bergen County Bar Association. He can be reached at (973) 709-0909, (908) 206-1000 or (201) 263-9161.