The main consideration that can make living at home much better than in nursing homes is obviously related to emotional and psychological factors. Forcing a family member into nursing could become a STRESSFUL experience that can possibly make the condition to get worse faster. Adjustments in new environment with strange people around could be a very frustrating and undesirable experience. Staying in a place "where you belong" of course makes a very big difference. The caring and loving hand from a family member could have a tremendous effects in the person's total well being.
A certain nurse with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York said: "Struggling to keep people at home is just so much healthier for them. It's so much better for a person to be at home generally. If they're there by themselves with no support, then that's not good. But if they have all the support they need, they're generally happier. When it comes to the everyday holding the hand and pouring the medicine and making sure they've had enough to eat today, that stuff, I think, is really handled better at home." You can have more information here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/livingold/interviews/gleason.html
Happy New Year!
For legal standpoints, I believe that reasons that state staying at home would be better won't give a strong grounds. Forcing a person to a nursing home is usually after a thorough assessment of a doctor who would order placing the person to such facility which will be of help to both the patient and the family.
The legal rights on the decision making would be the stronger ground against forcing one to a care facility. If the person has the capability to make decision and make an informed consent, he got all the rights to refuse going to such facility,even if others will consider it an unwise decision but there will be exceptional cases on that. In case the patient has lost the ability to make decision, a "surrogate decision-maker" will stand on his behalf where all the previous expressed wishes of unable person remain more legally and ethically important than what others may think will be good for him. This link may be of help: http://www.healthinaging.org/agingintheknow/chapters_ch_trial.asp?ch=4#Decision
Harvey, I do not have wide knowledge on legal issues so I am sorry I cannot offer more help so let me OPT OUT in here to have other experts' opinion.