What happens when your elderly parent or loved one is having trouble looking after themselves and you don’t have the option of taking care of them personally? Although they might hate the thought, many people’s minds will immediately turn to the option of a nursing home.
While a move to assisted living might be the reality in your situation, there are reasons to put that decision off for as long as possible. Here are three reasons you might want to keep your senior citizen out of a nursing home…
#1 Your Parent Is Probably More Comfortable at Home
It would be very unusual for a senior citizen to look forward to spending time in a nursing home. Most would rather age in place in a house they know and love. Certainly, this isn’t always a choice that can be made, but when in doubt, try to make a decision that puts your parent’s wishes first.
Nursing homes and other types of assisted-living facilities are often better than they get credit for, but they certainly don’t offer the advantages (like privacy and familiarity) of a private residence. For that reason, I think of them as a last-resort option.
#2 You Might Be Able to Address Lingering Safety Concerns
Typically, adult children will send an older person to a nursing home because of safety concerns. That’s not unreasonable, especially since falls, fires, and other emergencies can be life-threatening for older people. However, there is often a middle ground that can be reached by using a bit of common sense.
My mother lived alone in her own home for several years after my father passed. To ease my mind and ensure her safety, I installed extra lights, bathroom railings, non-slip flooring, and security cameras around the house. These small upgrades made a huge difference and weren’t that expensive, particularly when compared with the costs associated with the nursing home (see below).
#3 Your Budget Goes a Lot Farther Outside of a Nursing Home
Did you know that a private room in a nursing home cost upward of $102,000 in 2019? Obviously, that figure might be lower or higher than expected depending on where you live and the options you are considering, but you should prepare yourself for sticker shock when evaluating assisted-living facilities.
I was able to arrange delivery meals, housecleaning, in-home visits from nurses, and other services for my mother for a fraction of what it would have cost to move her into a nursing home, and there was no waiting list to keep her in place. You’ll probably discover it’s drastically cheaper to help your parent live in the home they love, too.
#4 Elder Abuse is More Prevalent Than You Think
Very sad but true. This is not to scare you but to make you aware of this fact. Some statistics indicate that as many as 1 in 3 senior residents have been victims of nursing home abuse. People enter nursing homes to receive the care needed to live safely and peacefully as they age. Tragically the most vulnerable population can get exploited and abused in the very same settings that are deemed to keep them safe. Do not forget that the same issues can arise with home-health-aides. The Nursing Homes Abuse Organization is a complete resource center on abuse in nursing homes and offers any help possible. Their website has a ton of information on different types of abuse along with other resources and is updated weekly.
Keeping your aging loved one safe and comfortable isn’t always easy, regardless of what brochures and service providers will tell you. In my book, I share my experiences in caring for my own parents… along with real-world strategies you can use to find elder care answers that leave you with your sanity intact.
This walker is a bit pricey but the steering and rolling comfort makes it easy to use. Note: most people push it like a shopping cart. That is wrong. The correct way is to stand upright and not lean forward. If you don't know how to use it have a nurse show you.