With the fall season just around the corner and work and school schedules back to normal, many people aren’t as free as they were in the summer to take care of elderly loved ones. At this time of year, lots of families are wondering if it’s finally time to consider a nursing home or whether less drastic measures could help elderly members remain at home instead. Nursing homes are the best options for some families, while they never seem to work out well for others.
So, to help you make this difficult decision, we’d like to highlight the pros and cons of turning the responsibilities of senior care over to a nursing home. As an alternative, we’ll also provide some elderly health tips for making safety the top priority without having to take this step.
Pros of a Nursing Home Move
If the elderly person in your life requires full-time care and attention, it may be beneficial to trust the professional help of a nursing home. These are facilities that provide around-the-clock care and have staff members on site in case anything should go wrong in the middle of the night.
Nursing homes also provide seniors with structured schedules that keep them on track for eating right, engaging in hobbies, and socializing with other people. When your loved one is in a trusted and caring nursing home, you can feel the peace of mind that your loved one is getting the necessary nutrition and medication and also staying safe throughout the day.
Cons of a Nursing Home Move
Moving to a nursing home is a very emotional decision and one that isn’t easy on families. Elderly adults have spent so many years being self-sufficient and living life on their own terms. This kind of drastic change may send seniors into bouts of depression and anger that cause physical symptoms as well as emotional ones. Seniors may suffer from the lack of freedom upon moving to a nursing home and struggle to come to terms with their newfound dependency.
Nursing homes are also very expensive, costing families thousands of dollars each year. This means that a nursing home may not even be a feasible option if you or your senior haven’t been saving up for this move. You’ve likely heard your fair share of nursing home horror stories about elder abuse and neglect as well. While there are many wonderful and experienced professionals who work in these facilities, it’s always a smart idea to read reviews, tour potential facilities, and have regular conversations with the staff.
Elderly Health Tips for Safety at Home
If the cons outweigh the pros in your mind, at least for now, perhaps it’s time to explore alternative ways to keep your senior safe at home. For example, instead of having to move to a new home because of difficult stairs, you can install an indoor stairlift to make a multi-level home more livable. You can also equip your senior with a medical alert system and post emergency numbers in a prominent place in case of emergency. To prevent falls, you can help keep the senior’s floors free of clutter and ensure that all rugs and carpets are tacked down properly. Additional railings and grab bars can be installed in the bathrooms and walkways for added stability, and extra lighting can help illuminate dark areas that are potentially hazardous.
If you don’t have time to stop by your senior’s home as often now that summer is over, consider hiring a part-time cleaning professional to come by on an occasional basis to take care of basic chores. Meal delivery services can also take the burden of cooking out of a senior’s day and ensure that meals are nutritious. If now is not the right time to seriously consider nursing home care, bringing help to your senior’s home can make a huge difference in terms of safety, health, and a positive attitude.