December 24, 2018 in: Senior Housing
People want to give their parents the best care at home but as their parents grow older, their demands become overwhelming. The thought of placing their loved ones in a senior living community or a nursing home can rack a person with guilt. Fortunately, nursing homes now are far different than what our grandparents experienced.
Thanks to tighter governmental regulations, today’s nursing homes provide high quality care for the elderly who cannot look after themselves.
About half the people in nursing homes are 85 years or older and very few of them are 65 or younger. About 72 percent of them are women who do not have a spouse and have a very limited circle of friends and family members to give them quality care.
Almost all nursing home residents need care with three or more activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, making their beds and walking. About half of them have issues with their bladder or bowel movement and one-third have problem seeing or hearing.
Chronic mental conditions, predominantly dementia, affect 50 to 70 percent of residents. Others have cognitive impairment, which makes it difficult for them to make decisions, and remember things or where they are. Many residents have problems communicating or explaining themselves well.
Nursing homes offer similar services as those offered in a hospital after an illness, stroke, surgery or any other medical problem. However, unlike hospitals, nursing homes allow patients to stay for an extended period of time, sometimes for months and many times for end-of-life care. Medical service offered by nursing homes include nursing care, post-surgery support, orthopedic care, breathing treatments, physical and speech therapy, IV therapy, antibiotics and wound care.
Health care: As a senior citizen’s health regresses, pre-existing conditions that were manageable may suddenly take a turn for the worse. Conditions like restricted mobility and dementia can pose serious risks to the elderly. It also becomes very difficult for family members to supervise their loved ones 24 hours a day, meet their medical appointments, manage their medication, move them and cope with their fluctuating behavior. A nursing home is equipped with highly knowledgeable professional medical staff, which can provide around-the-clock medical care.
Physical Limitations: Caring for another person is a full-time job, requiring a lot of patience, energy and time. For people, who have medical issues of their own, this burden can be damaging to their physical and mental health. If a caregiver becomes sick or injured, coping with their own pain and medical expenses can be very difficult, especially on a limited income
Familial Obligations: For many people, their jobs as well as their household obligations limit the time they can spend taking care of their elderly loved ones. Additionally, this can also cause stress, disturbance in sleep, tensions in family relationships and a lack of social interaction.
Financial Burden: Government health aid programs like Medicaid may not be sufficient to cover the high cost of in-home care. You may also have to renovate your entire home to make it more elder-friendly, by adding grab-bars on stairs and shower stalls and creating wheelchair ramps, to name a few things. Finding a good nursing home or senior housing community may be more cost-effective.
Some parents might view getting placed in nursing homes as a betrayal. However, contrary to popular notion, residents of nursing homes are not abandoned by their families. In fact, nursing homes encourage regular visits and involvement in the care of the elderly.