Unfortunately, many of us are left to make decisions for our parents as they get older. While some senior citizens are perfectly capable of making their own decisions, many are afflicted with issues like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia which can affect their ability to make decisions regarding their futures. This leaves a lot of responsibility upon their grown children. Many feel guilt about choosing the option of a nursing home for their parents. In the past, there was a pressure upon grown children to keep their parents in the family home as they reached the ends of their lives. However, in recent years this has become less realistic for many families, as the economy requires both partners in most families to work. This leaves less time for someone to care for their loved one. For that matter, caring for a senior citizen when you aren’t properly trained to do so can be stressful and emotionally taxing, and actually cause more harm than good. Luckily, people are now beginning to realize that a retirement home is not a bad option for senior citizens, and can in fact be a fantastic one, as long as you choose the right facility. With that being said, lots of us have many questions regarding how to choose a nursing home. Below, we’ll discuss how to choose a nursing home and what you should look for — what makes a good nursing home will vary depending on your parent’s specific needs.
The Practical Aspect: Medical Care
Most people who reside in nursing homes don’t need to be in a hospital at all times, but they do need to be cared for on some level. They might have chronic conditions that require rehabilitation services, and for that matter restorative care. Some nursing homes offer short-term care services for people of a variety of different ages, alongside long-term care for senior citizens or the profoundly disabled. What you want to see in any nursing home is skilled nursing care given by professionals. At the very least, most nursing homes do have nursing aides and actual nurses on hand 24 hours a day, as well as doctors on call. Some are similar to hospitals in that they have rehabilitation centers, as well as doctors trained in physical, speech, and occupational therapy nearby. They might also have units set up for residents with specific issues, like Alzheimer’s disease. While this article is focused on senior citizens, it should be remembered that nursing homes are for anyone who needs care 24 hours a day. In many, the community will be diverse — but some are focused on people of a certain age. This is one thing to keep in mind when looking into how to choose a nursing home.
The Emotinal Aspect: Community And Engagement
No matter how disabled or sick your loved one is, you want them to be treated like a person. For that matter, emotional health can really affect a person’s physical health, especially if that person is a senior citizen. When researching how to choose a nursing home, remember that you should look for a nursing home that engages its residents and cares for them emotionally as much as it does physically. This is especially true if you’re looking for a home for both of your parents. Some nursing homes have special options for married couples, allowing them to continue living together at a home. Many are set up in a way that allows seniors who can still do a certain amount of things for themselves to engage in activities they enjoy, like cooking.
Is A Nursing Home Really Right For My Loved One?
While you shouldn’t feel “pushed” into considering a nursing home, make sure that your hesitation doesn’t have to do with guilt. There is, again, nothing wrong with choosing a nursing home with your parent. Talk to your parent’s doctor and seek advice there — you may find that though living apart from your parent is difficult, it’s best for everyone.