Home Is Where The Heart Is

Julie Grimstad

Home is usually where one receives the greatest affection and feels comfortable and contented. Home is a place of fond memories and familiar surroundings. It is where most people say they would prefer to die.

As a patient advocate, I advise families who have loved ones in need of end-of-life care to keep them at home whenever possible. Depending on the ability of the family to contribute to the loved one's care, it may be less costly than a nursing home. If necessary, the family can hire outside help. When nursing care is not needed, there are people who will come in to do chores, run errands, etc. If nursing care is required, I recommend a home nursing agency rather than hospice. However, whether a home nursing agency or a hospice is chosen, check them out carefully before letting them into your home. (For more information, see Informed: A guide for critical medical decisions, https://resources.humanlife.org/pdf/informed.pdf)

Certain people need to be moved to a nursing home for care or to a secure care facility for their safety. In such cases, family members and friends should visit every day. It is wise to vary the times family members and friends visit and to be certain that someone is there to assist at mealtimes. Mealtimes are always more enjoyable with company and being there is the best way to be certain the person is eating and drinking enough.

Before admitting a loved one to any nursing home or medical facility, make certain visitors are allowed during the night. Get this and other assurances in writing and signed by the facility's administrator.

Home is where the heart is--whether it is a person's own home or a facility where the person is surrounded and protected by loving family and friends.

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