To Move or Not to Move…
This can be a large question for aging seniors or families of seniors who need to make a decision about how or who will care for them. There are so many options to choose from.
Disclaimer: This article is not addressing a short-term stay in a nursing home for rehabilitation, but becoming a permanent assisted living home resident. The latter is a decision that changes many things irrevocably, the following five considerations may help your decision-making.
Reason #1 – Cost
Examining a study conducted by Genworth in 2021, and projected until 2071 depending on inflation, they looked at 67,742 providers of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day health facilities, and home care providers to provide a look at prices. A private room at a nursing home facility is on average about $428 a day for 2023 and an in-home care provider is on average $232 a day. Showing a difference in cost and flexibility. Home care may be a better option as seniors are able to choose their scheduled visits and how frequently they will need someone which will further affect the price.
Reason #2 – Physical and Mental Health
Uprooting a loved one from the familiarity and comfort of the only home they have known for years can cause depression. Aside from being a huge change, many seniors fear moving into a nursing home/assisted living because they see it as a final step before the end of their life. This is usually true since they typically do not return to their own home, this can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, a primary cause of poor health among older adults. And for seniors with dementia, removing them from familiar surroundings has been shown to result in faster cognitive decline.
Reason #3 – Loss of Freedom & Independence
Older adults are accustomed to their own routines and it can be hard for them to adjust to a new schedule in a nursing home. For example, they can no longer choose what they want to eat when they are hungry. Instead, they are served a set menu at specific times throughout the day. While a nursing home schedule might be beneficial to your loved one’s overall health, the loss of freedom and independence can cause them to lose self-esteem as they are no longer in control of their own life. This can lead to mental and physical health issues as they feel like they don’t have a choice in their day-to-day activities.
Reason #4 – Proximity to Friends, Family, and Community
Depending on where you live, there might not be a quality facility located close by. A long drive to visit on the weekends can take a toll on family members over time. Even if you are able to visit regularly, your loved one may still feel a lack of family presence, increasing feelings of loneliness and depression. Most facility staff do their best to build a sense of community among residents, but seniors, they’re still not family or friends. With limited times of visitation or restrictions on the length of visits, this may be hard for family or friends to visit frequently, and this can be a huge adjustment and change for seniors.
Reason #5 – Quality of Care in Assisted Living Facilities
We’ve all heard stories of poor treatment and neglect of nursing home residents. In fact, some reports show up to 94% of facilities are understaffed, which can cause poor supervision and increase the risk of accidents and turnover. Turnover can be hard to adjust to, especially when a rapport or trust is created between staff and clients. Most reputable nursing homes provide superior services and thoughtful care. It’s up to you to research facilities beforehand and stay proactive in your loved one’s care to ensure they are receiving the proper attention.
Finally, your parent wants to live at home as long as possible and age in place. Make sure that if you make the decision for assisted living it was the best choice for the care needed. See our list of services and the care we provide where you call home here.