Making decisions about the care of your aging parents who are no longer able to care for themselves can be one of the most difficult choices adult children have to make. As you try to juggle your responsibilities and their needs, you can find yourself faced with figuring out how to provide them with care, whether that be in a nursing home or in-home care setting.
Nursing homes are usually the first answer people select for care for their parents. These facilities offer 24-hour, 7-days-per-week medical care from professional nurses, yet there are other options for your aging parents.
Ultimately, you want your loved ones to be in a setting where they will thrive and enjoy their time. With this in mind, it is important to consider all aspects of nursing home living before making a decision.
Nursing homes generally 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 fees are outside what’s affordable. If your parents own their own home and don’t need more intensive medical care, having a caregiver stop by to provide daily assistance and other services might be a better option.
Smaller Living Arrangements
Nursing homes try to provide different areas in the facilities so the residents can move about. Still, your aging parents will likely be transitioning from their home to smaller living arrangements than they’re used to. Such sudden changes can lead to a more difficult transition for your aging parents who now have to become familiar with their new environment.
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 isn’t always well accepted. Your loved one may not get along with other residents or prefer to spend time alone.
Nursing homes generally provide outside social activities that your parent can participate in. But in most nursing home settings, residents have less freedom to venture out to do activities of their own choosing. Instead of being able to go to a museum or catch a movie on their own schedule, they will generally have to follow the social activities set by the nursing home.
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 appropriate activities, they may not be ones that your parents had done before or liked. They may wish to return to the activities they enjoyed before moving to the nursing home.
You have less say in the care plan
Nursing homes often have a set procedure for running their program and caring for their residents. While you might express your opinions or desires for your loved one, the care plan will ultimately be carried out based on what the nursing home staff members deems appropriate for your loved one.
In-home care is a more cost-effective alternative to a nursing home that does not come with many of the issues that nursing homes face. When you consider the health, happiness, and choices your parents want to make regarding their lives, you can help them make the best decision for their future.