When Is It Time to Put Your Spouse In a Nursing Home?

When Is It Time to Put Your Spouse In a Nursing Home?

Balancing devotion and caregiving demands is intimidating for individuals who play the role of the primary caregiver for a spouse.

When the role of a caregiver becomes unmanageable and one has to make the decision of considering a nursing home for a spouse, it can be challenging to identify the best timing for this life changing event.

In this article, we provide insights to help you navigate through the pursuit of the best care for your spouse.

When Is It Time to Put Your Spouse In a Nursing Home? (Read this first)

Deciding when to put spouse in a nursing home can be a challenging decision as it comes with overwhelming emotions. When one has a special attachment to their loved one, it can be hard to let go and get them admitted into a nursing home.

Caregiving can be quite taxing and no matter how much we would love to keep living with a spouse who needs full-time care, it becomes difficult to keep up with care demands.

To make things clearer for you, below are the signs to look out for to know the best time to put your spouse in a nursing home:

Signs It Is Time to Put Your Spouse In a Nursing Home

Caregiver Burnout

If you are the primary caregiver for your spouse, you can experience mental and physical exhaustion especially if you do not have help. Experiencing exhaustion can lead to burnout, and can cause physical illness.

Putting your spouse in a nursing home is about caregiving experience. When a person needs care, you as the caregiver, carries the burden of sorting their needs out.

Here’s how to tell when you have caregiver burnout:

  • Excess fatigue
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Abandonment of your physical/mental needs
  • Hopelessness
  • Social isolation
  • Unusual weight changes

Caregiver burnout is a wave you can just power through. Even after getting rest, it might reoccur, which can results in cycles of burnout. Experiencing caregiver burnout not only affects your well-being as a caregiver, but also affects the quality of care you give to your loved one.

Once you notice burnout, putting your spouse in a nursing home is a good option to consider because it reliefs the stress of caregiving and betters the quality of care for your spouse. Your spouse is better off receiving high quality care in a nursing home than staying with you and receiving the bare minimum.

Medical Requirements

If your spouse has increased medical needs and needs constant monitoring, it could work better if they are checked into a nursing home where they can receive regular specialized medical monitoring.

Also, if your spouse’s health and safety are at risk due to medical conditions, mobility issues, or cognitive decline, it might be time to consider a nursing home as providing care for them might be hard without the correct training.

Decline in Personal Care

Seniors experience health issues that can limit the individual’s ability to perform personal care. If your spouse’s ability to perform activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and toileting, has declined and you are unable to assist them efficiently, it could be time to put them in a nursing home.

Cognitive Decline

Conditions such as dementia come with cognitive deterioration, affecting a person’s ability to live with others. More so, when your spouse has dementia, the quality of the relationship declines, making it difficult to provide care for them.

If you have been looking after a spouse with dementia but it has become overwhelming, consider options for nursing homes for dementia patients to ensure that your loved one receives quality specialized care.

Quality of Life

The priority is having a good life for your spouse and yourself. Therefore, if you notice that the quality of life has declined due to the demands of caregiving, it is time to consider putting your spouse in a nursing home.

Dealing with Guilt When Putting Spouse In a Nursing Home

Guilt is a hard feeling to deal with when putting a spouse in the nursing home. It comes in as feelings of second guessing whether you should have tried harder to take care of them or feeling like you are neglecting your responsibility to your spouse.

While the feelings of guilt are hard to miss during the process of nursing home check in for your spouse, the most essential thing is learning how to deal with them. Below are some tips to deal with guild when putting spouse in a nursing home:

  • Accept your feelings and validate them
  • Remember why you are putting your spouse in thee nursing home
  • Go to therapy to get professional assistance in dealing with the guilt and other emotions
  • Visit your spouse regularly to keep up with their life
  • Join a supportive community of people with spouses in nursing homes
  • Stay connected with friends
  • Engage in activities that lift you up


Is it wrong to put spouse in a nursing home?

The choice to put a loved one in a nursing home might be daunting but it comes from wanting the best for our loved ones and wanting to ensure that they receive the best care.

How can you make a spouse comfortable in a nursing home?

You can make often visits to the nursing home to check on the well-being of your spouse and make commit to a regular communication schedule with them.

Can a person be happy in a nursing home?

Receiving quality care and having the opportunity to build new relationships in a nursing home can improve happiness. In addition, when an individual has the ability to connect with their loved ones, they can sustain happiness in a nursing home.

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