When it comes to caring for the elderly, if we choose to care for them ourselves, we have to know what to do to take good care of them, especially if they suffer from some kind of serious illness. For Indonesians, sending elderly parents to nursing homes is considered something bad to do. It's like "getting rid of them" or something.
Personally speaking, I think if you intend on caring for the elderly at home, at least you have to find out as much information as you can get concerning the health condition of the elderly. As Michelle once told me, getting in touch with a specific health support group or forum can help. The above website provides such a forum and plenty of information about caring for the elderly, such as: recognizing the signs of dementia, Parkinson's disease, bed sores, how to prevent stroke, etc.
Since my father-in-law suffers from Alzheimer, I felt so touched when I read a letter sent to the above website by a man whose wife suffers from Alzheimer. If you want to read it, visit the site and click on "care discussion" and "your letters". In short, at first the man took care of the wife at home, but then she fell and broke her arm. Then she couldn't speak and had to use a wheelchair. Since he couldn't take care of everything himself, he decided to send her to a nursing home. However, that only made things worse. In the end he sold his house, moved to a smaller one and he has been taking care of her alone since then.
Anyway, if you feel that you're incapable of taking care of your loved ones by yourself, yet you don't want to send them to a nursing home, hiring a carer is a good option. This is what my parents did when my grandma's condition deteriorated badly. After all, my parents had jobs back then and they still had to take care of us, their kids. All in all, when there are sick elderly in your family, it's better for you to equip yourself with all the necessary information and options so you can choose the best option for your loved ones.