Pros and Cons: Alternatives to Nursing Home Placement
Assisted living facilities and retirement homes provide a source of care, joy, and community for many older folks. But for some, they’re just not the right setting, feeling “too clinical” or “cold.” This article is dedicated to those who might feel the latter emotions. We’re going to take a look at several viable alternatives to nursing home placement, focusing specifically on the pros and cons of each.
Moving in With Family
When it becomes too much to care for oneself, many people turn to their children or other able-bodied relatives to help out. Provided that everyone in the family gets along, this can be a wonderful option. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend their retirement days surrounded by grandchildren? This option is also highly cost-effective. There’s no need to pay for a room, and in many cases for medical care, so long as the type of help you need is minor enough that family members can cover it.
Doesn’t seem to have any drawbacks, right? Well … not quite. There are a few important things to keep in mind before making the decision to move in with your children and/or other relatives. First, is the care you require going to be too much for unpaid, non-medical professionals to handle? Many grown-up kids love the idea of taking care of their parents, but soon realize that it’s more than they can handle on top of their own busy lives. It’s smart to have a concrete idea of what exactly care will look like before going into this situation; that will help prevent anyone from biting off more than they can chew. Many people opt to move in with family members and hire a home health care aide to assist with certain duties and ensure a proper standard of care.
Due to the hefty expenses associated with retirement and daily medical care, more and more seniors are choosing to form intentional communities or “communes” where they can live together and pool resources. It’s not only a barrel of fun, but also much more affordable than going at it alone. Some groups choose to hire a single live-in nurse or team of home health professionals, splitting the cost between everyone at the commune. Additionally, the benefits of being around other people all day are huge for both mental and physical health. Studies show that socialization is linked to the prolonged retention of one’s mental and physical faculties, as well as lower rates of depression.
The big “if” with regard to intentional communities is the people. Make sure that you and your loved one make a careful, well-informed decision together about who you will be living with. Can everyone agree on daily chores? Expenses? Medical care? Try and assemble a team of like-minded friends who want the same things out of retirement.
Home Health Care
For many Americans suffering from a condition that requires frequent medical attention, “home health care” are the three magic words. They mean the comfort, security, and convenience of your own home; they mean less disruption to your day-to-day life; they mean no more days spent driving to and from doctor’s appointments. Home health care provides immense relief from the stress associated with medical care.
There aren’t any real cons to home health care. With advances in medical technology, it’s now possible to receive the same quality of care at home as you would receive in a facility without paying a fortune. One important thing to note is that having everything you need at home can sometimes lead to social isolation, especially in seniors. If you do go the home health care route, make sure that your loved one is still getting plenty of social enrichment. While HealthKeeperz’ medical professionals are extremely warm and friendly, they can’t meet all your needs for fun and socialization. So, make sure to visit with friends and family and get outside when you can, to get up and get going.
Interested in receiving home health care services for yourself or a loved one? Please contact HealthKeeperz at 800-309-3784 to begin a conversation.