There are 17,000 nursing homes operating in the United States today, each one designed to provide comfort and care for those in the latter stages of their lives, and nursing homes can be an ideal option when loved ones start to get older and find themselves in need of more regular day to daycare and assistance with day to day tasks.
Still, many people hesitate about the decision to introduce a beloved elderly relative into a nursing home or assisted living facility, unsure if it’s the right decision at the right time. This guide will cover some of the key advantages and disadvantages of nursing homes in order to help you make an informed choice for your own relatives.
Round the Clock Care
Of course, one of the main advantages of nursing homes is the fact that they’re able to offer round-the-clock nursing support for the residents. This is the main reason why so many people move to nursing homes in the first place, as their families may not be able to provide the care they need, and it might not be safe or comfortable for them to go on living as normal in their own homes.
At the best nursing homes, highly trained and experienced nursing staff are on-call 24/7, ready to respond to any incidents and provide all the medical assistance residents might need. Throughout the days and nights, residents can also rely on the assistance of other staff members to help out with everything from using the bathroom and cleaning themselves to getting around the facility.
Another great benefit of nursing homes is what they can do for an elderly person’s mental health. A lot of elderly people struggle with feelings of loneliness and isolation, and even when family members try their best to provide comfort and company to elderly loved ones, they aren’t able to be around them all of the time.
Being in a nursing home is a totally different experience. In homes, residents are always surrounded by other people, able to chat with friendly staff members each morning and greet their new friends each day. This can do wonders for their general mental state, allowing them to feel like part of a community and make lots of friends, rather than feeling alone or cut off from the world.
Groups and Activities
Today’s nursing homes also stand out for the wide range of activities and opportunities they’re able to offer residents. In the average nursing home nowadays, for example, you can find daily schedules for residents to enjoy including outdoor games, bingo nights, arts and crafts classes, musical entertainment, card games, books, films, and so much more.
With so many different things to do in nursing homes, no two days are ever quite the same, and residents can even discover new passions they might not have known about before or develop new skills, as well as enjoying their favorite hobbies and pastimes from years gone by, all in the company of new friends and friendly staff.
Health and Safety Risks
Even though nursing homes are designed to be caring and comfortable places, with nurses available round the clock and care assistants working hard on a day to day basis to help every resident feel comfortable and calm, the sad fact of the matter is that not all care homes are able to provide the same high standards of genuine care.
In fact, there have been cases of neglect and abuse in nursing homes across the nation, with statistics showing that five million elderly people are abused every single year. This is why it is always so important to check out the health and safety records of any homes you might be considering to ensure that they’re safe for your loved ones.
Another potential downside to nursing homes for some families is the fact that they’re far from free. Indeed, the costs of nursing homes can quickly start to add up, and if you want to send your loved one to a high-end facility with the best standards of health, safety, care, and social opportunities, you’ll need to be able to pay a high fee for the privilege.
Statistics show that the average costs for nursing homes can range from $175 per day to over $1,000 per day, and prices tend to vary from state to state. Medicare and other financial aids can help out with this, but there are still many situations in which families will need to pay out quite a lot of their own money to cover the costs.
A Difficult Adjustment
There’s also the fact that moving to a nursing home is a huge step for almost anyone, and you can never quite be sure how a beloved elderly relative may respond in their early days and weeks at a new home. Some people adjust with ease and are actually quite engaged with nursing home life, but others can encounter difficulties along the way.
Moving to a home can feel isolating and worrying for some people, and they might struggle to fit in at first or adapt to their new surroundings. This can affect both mental and physical health, which is why it’s vital to try and find a home that is able to offer the best standards of care and really fits the needs and desires of the resident.
From these advantages and disadvantages, it’s clear to see that homes have a key part to play in society. They can help out so much in terms of providing the healthcare assistance and quality of life that can be lacking for many elderly people in their regular homes, but you do have to weigh up the downsides like costs and potential safety risks too. If you’re considering a home for a loved one, be sure to weigh up the pros and cons and consider all the key factors before making your decision.