By Amy Blitchok Google
Unfortunately, many people will have to make the tough decision about whether or not to put their loved one in a nursing home. If you find yourself facing this choice, consider the following advantages and disadvantages of nursing homes:
Advantages of Nursing Homes
- Trained staff can provide expert medical attention and round-the-clock care
- Homes are often staffed with dieticians and nutritionists who can ensure proper nutrition for optimal health.
- Facilities often provide social activities and a sense of community to patients
- Nursing homes are evaluated and these reports are available through Medicare, so you can make sure that your loved one is staying at a safe nursing home.
- Relying on a nursing home will put fewer demands on family members who may not have the time or resources to care for their relative.
Disadvantages of Nursing Homes
- Expensive. Many people simply cannot afford to pay for constant care. As of 2012, the national average for a private room was $248 per day which equals $90,520 per year.1
- Potential for low standards and sub-quality care. While most nursing homes provide superior services, you have to be careful about where you place your loved one. According to some reports, 90% of nursing homes are understaffed, which increases the potential for accidents.2
- Depending on an individual’s condition, a nursing home can increase a sense of isolation and loneliness, especially among patients with dementia.
- You may have to travel lengthy distances to visit your loved one if there isn’t a nursing facility near your home.
While you may feel like you are trapped between taking on the full-time care of a relative and sending them to a nursing home, there may be other options available. Depending on your loved ones ailments, you may be able to purchase mobility devices that can increase their independence and allow them to age in place. Walk-in tubs, stair lifts, and lift chairs are available for a fraction of the price of a nursing home stay and can provide older adults with the tools they need to navigate their homes with minimal to no supervision. Aging in place may not be a practical option for some people, but it could help others avoid a nursing home or prevent them from depending on their families for constant care.
1"The 2012 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Servies, and Home Care Costs." MetLife Mature Market Institute, 2011 Oct. Web. 27 March 2013.
2 "Nursing Home Statistics." American Association for Justice, 2013 Web. 27 March 2013.