Getting older can be a frightening proposition. The thought of losing your independence due to difficulties managing your day-to-day activities and a need for more intensive care can be a scary idea. While this situation often conjures up images of abusive nursing homes with restrictive rules that strip away any sense of freedom, that doesn’t have to be the case whatsoever. Not only are there far more options today for assisted care, but if you do require a nursing home, it is possible to pick one that can let you live out your golden years happy and healthy.
As the number of Americans over the age of 65 grows rapidly, more and more individuals are looking at where they want to spend their long-term savings when it comes to healthcare options. With the Affordable Care Act on shaky ground, many Americans are looking to their personal savings or considering emptying their health savings accounts to ensure that they can receive quality care. Nursing homes and assisted living centers can be prohibitively expensive for many, but depending on the level of care required, in-home care might be the best available option.
Receiving in-home care from a family nurse practitioner (FNP) when it is necessary can help you to maintain a greater level of independence. FNPs have the advantage of being able to make in-home visits, meaning that they have the opportunity to allow patients to be comfortable and relaxed while they see how the patient lives. If you’re able to do almost all of the daily tasks that you need to do and only need the occasional checkup, then having in-home care is an excellent option.
If you do plan on preserving as much of your independence as possible by pursuing in-home care, there are certain items that you can buy to make your life that much easier. Technology that assists with home care has come a long way in recent years, providing not only the ability to remain in your own home while receiving appropriate medical care, but doing it rather comfortably as well. Power wheelchairs, quality mobility friendly beds, and wearable health monitors allow you to live as you like, all while remaining safe and cared for.
Assisted Living Centers
Deciding which type of housing is best for you can feel like a difficult journey. There are many things to consider: proximity to family, quality of care, independence, cost, how much care you really need, and many more. While in-home care or age-restricted communities might be enough if you aren’t in need of a lot of medical attention, assisted living centers may be the best choice for those who do.
If you need help with daily tasks like doing your laundry, cleaning, cooking, or help with personal care due to limited mobility, assisted living centers can provide these services without being too intrusive. Assisted living facilities allow you to ask for only what you need, giving you a good amount of space and privacy when you want it and help when you need it. Assisted living centers also provide the opportunity for socialization with scheduled events that aren’t mandatory.
You can really think of assisted living centers as another chance to live the dorm life of your college years. There is recreation and activities, health-related services, meals, transportation, and help with your daily activities if you need it. Determining whether or not assisted living is right for you really just depends on how much medical care you need and whether the lifestyle suits you. After all, they are your golden years, and you should spend them as you see fit.
Nursing homes have often been depicted as scary, abuse-filled, unclean places where people go to be forgotten. However, this is simply not the case in modern America, as healthcare administrators have recognized the ethical dilemmas so often posed by treatment in nursing homes. Not only do these healthcare administrators have to remain ethically sound in the treatment and privacy of those living in nursing homes, they must also provide the best care possible while mitigating legal risks. Nursing homes are really just assisted living centers that have a much greater focus on providing round-the-clock healthcare.
While elderly abuse is certainly a problem in some nursing homes, it isn’t nearly as widespread as is usually reported. In fact, 66 percent of reported elder abuse in 2010 actually came from adult children or spouses of those living in nursing homes rather than the nursing home staff. The key to finding a good nursing home is to visit multiple times before you make any decisions and pay close attention to both the staff and those living there. If the staff seems attentive and responsible, and the tenants are genuinely happy, then you’re most likely looking at a decent nursing home.
Other signs to look for include any strange lingering smells, as it could point to improperly cleaned facilities and accidents. Going for a visit during an activity and a meal is also a great way to see the level of care you’ll receive should you choose to live in any one particular nursing home. Nursing home abuse can result in serious, even deadly injuries due to neglect, so make sure to do your due diligence before making any decisions as to where you want to spend your golden years.
If you’re wary about assisted care, there are plenty of options available to you that can assuage some of your fears. If you’re capable of taking care of yourself and only need occasional assistance, in-home care is there for you. If you require a bit or even a lot more help, there are always assisted living centers and nursing homes. At the end of the day, it is your decision to make, so you should choose whatever suits your needs.
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