“My kids want to take me to a nursing home. Are they trying to get rid of me?”—often, this is the thought that comes to our minds when we have The Long Term Care Talk with our adult children. No one ever looks forward to moving to a long term care facility, and it always breaks our hearts a little bit when our families bring this topic to the conversation. But as much as we want to stay in our homes and secretly wish that they will constantly be there to lend a helping hand, we cannot really demand that from them, can we?
Moreover, reconciling that silent wish with the fear of becoming a burden is common among the elderly is close to impossible. While it may be a rewarding experience for our children to be our caregivers—and as willing as they may be to do it—sometimes, the best option on the table is to move to nursing home. At times, this option may even be the safest.
So what is it about nursing homes and other assisted living facilities that make us so against the idea of moving into one? For many, the reason they are hesitant is the bad reputation that all care facilities have been branded with. We hear negative incidents and reviews of particular care facilities, and so we immediately become wary of the rest. This, however, keeps us from accessing the truly stellar ones.
Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facilities: Aren’t They The Same?
Before we dive into it, let’s first talk about nursing home care and assisted living. To answer the question above, no, they are not the same. While both provide substantial assistance to the elderly, assisted living facilities and nursing homes offer different services that may cater to various types of needs.
On one hand, assisted living homes are for those who do not need constant professional nursing care. These places cater to individuals who need help accomplishing tasks such as meal preparations, housekeeping, transportation, exercising, and laundry. Additionally, these facilities also provide access to health and medical services.
On the other hand, nursing homes cater to people in need of a more specialized type of care. Other than the basic services, such as meal preparations, housekeeping, and social activities, these places provide medical and personal care, 24-hour skilled nursing care, and medical supervision for ill patients.
Benefits of Staying in a Care Facility
So why is moving to a long term care facility a good move? These places offer abundant benefits not just for the elderly individual but for his or her family members and loved ones, too.
- Quality of Life Through Proper Care
Long term care facilities are around to provide comfort and care to individuals who need them. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities create an environment where elderly individuals can maintain a good quality of life while making sure that they have easy access to health aid. They provide daily care that eliminates the risks of accidents and falls because tasks, such as housekeeping and laundry, are lifted from their shoulders.
Also, these facilities take extra care in providing and monitoring proper nutrition and physical fitness. After all, the exercise and a balanced diet are vital in creating a good senior life.
- Family Members and Loved Ones are Relieved
When we fall ill, our family members and loved ones are usually the first line of support. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, is why approximately 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to individuals older than 50 in the recent years.
While they might jump at the circumstance in a heartbeat, they become vulnerable to the stress and strains that caregivers often face. Providing care and juggling other aspects of life can take a lot from a person, and they find themselves at risk physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially.
These facilities provide relief and assurance to your family that you are given the appropriate care that you need. The task is lifted from their shoulders, and you get to be free of that worry of being a burden.
Every situation is different for every person. What might work for someone else might not work for you. This also applies to choosing long term care facilities and whether or not they are the right options for us. We must always, always look at our situation as unique and entirely our own, but never forget that we can take a thing or two from other people’s experiences.
Lastly, we are well-aware of the negative side that these facilities might have—we are in no way disregarding these incidents—but we would also like to highlight that there are good ones out there. Resources for long term care and its providers are available online to help us find the best choice for ourselves.