There always comes a time in your life when you have to make tough decisions. Yet one of the toughest issues you have to face is aging parents who are no longer able to take care of themselves. They may be unable to get dressed in the morning, or may need help taking their medications. You find your life becoming more complicated as you are trying to work, take care of the kids and help your aging parents.
Nursing homes are usually the first answer people select for care for their parents. These facilities offer 24-hour medical care for seven days of the week from professional nurses and other medical personnel. Yet there are six common problems that nursing homes have which might make these facilities an unwise place for your aging parents as in-home care may be a better alternative. Consider these problems that in-home care does not have and make the best decision that benefits your parents.
Nursing homes generally will cost more than in-home care or even assisted living facilities. While some costs will be covered by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, you may find monthly costs are outside what your parents, and yourself, can afford. If your parents are lucky to own their own home and don’t need more intensive medical care, having a caregiver stop by to provide daily assistance and other services to ensure your aging parents are getting the help they need.
2: Smaller Living Arrangements
Nursing homes try to provide different areas in the facilities so people can move about. Yet in reality, your aging parents will be transitioning from their home to smaller living arrangements that will normally allow for a bed, dresser, table and a few chairs. Such sudden changes can impact the emotional and mental health of your aging parents who now have to become familiar with their new environment.
3: Living Among Other Residents
One of the perks that nursing homes promote is that your aging parents will be among other residents in their age group as they can have interactions and make friends. Yet this perk can also lead to problems. Your parents may not get along with someone as this issue leads to fights and verbal insults. Some medical conditions, such as pre-dementia, can also cause aggression that may be directed at your aging parents as they don’t want to deal with this aggression day by day.
4: Less Freedom
Nursing homes may have outside social activities that your parents can participate in. Yet they will have less freedom to simply go off on their own anywhere. They won’t be able to simply head to the museum at the spur of the moment or catch a quick film at the local theater. Their outdoor excursions will be limited.
5: Boredom and Isolation
The change to your aging parents’ environment can cause feelings of boredom and depression as they may isolate themselves in their rooms. While nursing homes strive to provide age-related activities, these activities may not be ones that your parents have done before or like. They may wish to return to the activities they enjoyed when back in their personal home.
6: Less Decisions
The fact is that your aging parents will have less decisions over their overall health and happiness when they are in a nursing home. Nursing homes strive to provide as much as they can to make an ideal environment. Yet they will have a set schedule for every patient so each person gets the proper amount of care. This schedule not only limits the personal decisions your aging parents have over their lives, they also might find that the environment isn’t comforting because the nurses are so busy with other tasks.
In-home care simply is a more cost-effective alternative that does not have as many of the issues that nursing homes face. Consider the health, as well as the happiness and choices, your parents want to make in regards to their lives. Then help them make the best decision.