A nursing home is a place where people receive medical and physical assistance from licensed nurses, healthcare technicians and therapists. Seniors who require extensive daily care and medical treatment that cannot be offered at home are ideal candidates for long-term nursing homes.
Choosing to move a senior to a long-term nursing home can be a difficult decision, but it is often the best option when the skills of medical professionals are required on a daily basis.
When Is a Senior Ready for a Nursing Home?
Often times, seniors only need to spend a few days at a nursing home while recovering from an illness or a hospital visit. However, those with serious health conditions may need to stay in a nursing home for an extended period of time or for the rest of their lives.
Long-term nursing homes typically care for older seniors with dementia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other medical conditions that prevent them from taking adequate care of themselves. When a senior can no longer keep up with their everyday needs, and requires daily medical care, it is likely that the individual is ready for a long-term nursing home.
What Are Long-Term Nursing Homes Like?
Today, most licensed nursing homes are well-maintained, clean, friendly and many have a home-like feel. The staff generally try to create a sense of community among residents and provide engaging activities and social opportunities. Although other types of senior housing provide more freedom, nursing home residents still maintain a level of independence as there is usually not a fixed daily schedule and they generally live in private rooms.
In addition to providing the care received at most assisted living facilities (help getting in and out of bed, assistance bathing and dressing, etc.), long-term nursing homes also offer 24-hour medical care. Many have nurse stations with supervising physicians, and residents are also attended to by other professionals like occupational and physical therapists.
How Much Do Long-Term Nursing Homes Cost?
Nursing homes vary widely in price depending on location and the accommodations of the specific facility. However, long-term nursing care can get expensive, so steps should be taken to plan ahead for payment.
Those with limited income may qualify for Medicaid, which usually covers most of the costs, but not every facility accepts Medicaid. Some seniors may have long-term care insurance, and veterans may also qualify for financial support through the Veterans Administration. Seniors and their families who are unsure of how they will pay for long-term care may want to seek the advice of a financial advisor.
What Is the Best Way to Move Into a Nursing Home?
Seniors often have negative feelings about long-term nursing homes because they fear losing their independence and being cut-off from their family. However, these worries are lessened when seniors and their families work together to find a suitable home.
To make the transition as comfortable as possible, seniors should try to acknowledge that the move is in their best interest, and loved ones should make an effort to be sympathetic to the senior's situation.
Find Long-Term Nursing Homes
With a loving and thoughtful approach, the move to a long-term nursing home does not have to be an overwhelming occasion, but can simply be recognized as another phase in a senior's life. Browse our comprehensive directory to Find Nursing Homes across the country.
Written by senior housing staff writer.