Senior care is one of the most daunting concerns for American families. As the elderly lose independence over the years, their loved ones face difficult decisions regarding caregiving. Although moving a parent to a nursing home sounds painful, many people do it with good intentions. The idea is to ensure that your loved one gets round-the-clock care and expert medical attention. A nursing home provides more than home-based care in this context. But you must be aware of the downsides of the decision because a lot more may come to light if you scratch the surface. Let us explain why nursing home care may not be the best option for your senior.
Limited housing options
Senior housing is already limited. Space availability is expected to decrease over the years as the elderly population increases. Nursing homes will probably run out of space to accommodate the senior population in the future. With the scarcity of space, the prices will likely skyrocket. Not everyone can afford expensive nursing home care, so it is better to look for other alternatives for your loved one. Home care is far more budget-friendly than paying for nursing home housing.
Loss of freedom and independence
Older adults are seldom happy to move to a facility because it deprives them of their freedom and independence. Seniors are comfortable with their routines, and adjusting to a new schedule is often daunting for them. For example, they cannot choose their meal schedule or walk time according to their wish. Losing freedom and independence can affect your loved one’s self-esteem as they no longer have control of their own life. It may even affect their mental well-being in the long run.
Distance from the family
Another reason to skip the idea of moving your senior to a nursing home is that it can cause distance from the family. Even if you find a facility close by, you may end up visiting your loved one only on the weekends. The gaps may become even longer if the location is miles from your home. Imagine how much your elderly parents may miss you even if you visit regularly or if they have friendly residents to interact with. The feelings of loneliness and depression can be taxing for aging adults.
Risk of negligence and abuse
The risk of negligence and abuse runs high for nursing home residents. Countless horror stories may dissuade you from considering the option for your aging parent. Even if you find a reputed facility, you must watch out for warning signs, specifically if your senior is incapacitated. Victims and families can collaborate with Diligent nursing home abuse attorneys to seek justice for their suffering. It is vital to check a center’s reputation and visit it before choosing it for your loved one if moving them is absolutely necessary.
Another reason to think twice before sending your elderly parents to a nursing home is the problem of stretched staff in these facilities. Most centers have only a few caregivers to handle the needs of many seniors. You can imagine their work pressure, which can affect their efficiency and behavior toward residents. They seldom get the level of care and attention according to your expectations. Some staff members are negligent, rude, and aggressive, making life challenging for residents. High turnover is another concern for nursing home residents as it prevents them from fostering relationships with caregivers.
Besides the possibility of negligence and abuse, residents may face health risks in nursing homes. Crowded facilities often have poor living conditions, leading to the spread of illnesses and infections among vulnerable adults. The high incidence of COVID-19 in these facilities is an instance of grave danger for senior residents. Besides physical disease, seniors are prone to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. The last thing you want to do is to pay a hefty sum for the poor quality of life of your loved one.
Sending your senior to a nursing home may not be the best decision, so you must consider alternatives if possible. Think beyond the guilt factor because there are more practical and valid reasons to skip nursing home care. You may consider home care if your aging parent still has some level of independence and does not require constant medical care. They will probably be happier and healthier in their comfort zone. Moving them to a facility should be the last resort. Also, ensure that the place is safe and comfortable if you have to take the option eventually.