Being a Mom to Your Parent: 4 Nursing Home Alternatives

Friday, September 11, 2020


If you’re a mom, you know that you signed on for a fulltime job, but often, you wouldn’t have it any other way. Your kids can be a handful sometimes, but you love them and enjoy raising them. Teaching them life lessons and watching their delight brings you joy too.

What you never signed up for is acting like a mom with your own parents. That’s sometimes how you might feel as they get older, and they resist doing what you think is best for them.

You might think it’s time to consider a nursing home for your mom or dad, but they probably don’t want to go, and maybe you don’t want to send them. What are the alternatives?

Let’s look at four ways you can look after your parents later on in their life.


There are legitimate reasons to keep your mom or dad out of a nursing home. Unfortunately, over 15% of seniors suffer some type of abuse in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. That might include:
Physical or verbal abuse
Sexual abuse
Starving them or withholding their medication

It’s awful to think about, and if you never put your mom or dad in a nursing home, then you never have to fret about that. But what if they live by themselves now, and they get lonely often?

Getting them a pet might be one way to go. Many studies indicate that having an animal can prolong a human’s life and they’ll feel less lonely that way.

If you have an older parent, they probably can’t keep up with an energetic puppy or kitten. You might do better taking them to the pound to pick out an older animal.

Older animals need a home too, and you can save a life this way. They can provide your mom or dad with companionship and a loyal friend.

A Home Health Aide

A home health aide is a person who:
Stops by your parent’s home to check on them
Can clean and cook their meals
Can make sure that they take their pills
Can call for help if they fall or hurt themselves

If your mom or dad is getting older and needs some help, but they can still take care of themselves to some extent, this might be a suitable nursing home alternative. The home health aide can stop by once per day or a few times each week, while your parent can still have some autonomy.

If you want to go in this direction, do some research first to make sure you get someone who has good reviews and a strong medical background.

They Might Move in with You

Perhaps you never envisioned living with your mom or dad again, but that might be an option for you to consider. During the pandemic, things are harder than ever, and that’s true for older adults as well. Your mom or dad might not be able to afford their mortgage payments if they live in a house, and they’re on a fixed income.

While nursing homes can be quite expensive, it costs nothing for them to move in with you. You might not feel like it’s ideal, but it’s a charitable act that they’re sure to appreciate.

If you co-parent or live with other adults, talk to them about whether it’s a suitable idea. They might be okay with it, or at least willing to entertain the notion.

You Might Visit Them Regularly

Depending on how busy you are, you and any other adults you live with might set up a parent visitation schedule. If your mom, dad, or both are getting up there in years, but they can still mostly take care of themselves, you all might agree to your visiting them a couple of times per week.

If you are married or have a significant other, they can sometimes visit your parents, and you can do it the rest of the time. It might not be the most convenient, since you have the kids to take care of as well, but if you feel like your parent or parents need those check-ins, that might be the best way to go.

Most seniors do not wish to move into nursing homes. Even though you’ve got your kids to care for and your own life to live, you should try to help your parents as they age. You’d hope that your children will do the same for you one day.

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