For most people, the idea of aging and subsequent nursing home care is something that happens in other people’s lives. However, getting (and paying for) care in a nursing home is a very real and genuine issue for some. According to a major study conducted by the MetLife Mature Market Institute, one in four people aged 65 and older will need long-term nursing home care at some point in their lives. That means that at least one in every four people you know will need nursing home care, and there is a good chance it could be you someday.
What Is a Nursing Home or Skilled Nursing Facility?
A skilled nursing facility (SNF) is a long-term care facility that provides a range of services, including rehabilitation, skilled nursing, and long-term care. A nursing home is an SNF that primarily provides custodial care, such as help with dressing, bathing, and eating.
Myths and Facts About Nursing Homes
Myths: If you cannot tend to yourself at home, nursing homes are your sole option.
Fact: There are also nursing homes that are geared toward patients with complex medical needs, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. A nursing home may be the best option for people who need help with daily activities or medical care that they cannot provide for themselves.
Myths: A nursing home is chosen because their families do not care about them.
Fact: Nursing homes are for people who need constant care. They are for people who cannot live on their own and who can no longer take care of themselves. But some nursing homes are for people whose families do not care. People drop their loved ones into these facilities because they simply do not have the time or energy to take care of them anymore or because they do not want to take responsibility for their own family member’s well-being, however, that is not always the case. Whatever the reason, nursing homes are for people who need help. But they are not for lazy people.
Myths: Nursing homes are managed poorly and offer terrible care.
Facts: Nursing homes are medically staffed facilities that provide long-term care. Many older adults require long-term care, especially after a fall, stroke, or other debilitating illness. Nursing homes provide care 24/7. Nursing homes are more costly than assisted living facilities or independent living communities. The nursing facility bill of rights exists to ensure that residents and their loved ones are protected from abuse, neglect, and malpractice. This, however, does not mean that there won’t be bad care homes. There is always the rare exception. But, for people who face abuse from these kinds of homes, there are compensatory damages. A good medical malpractice attorney Atlanta or some other pertinent location could help the abuse victims file a suit and bring to light the terrible care home so that action could be taken against it.
Myths: You can never leave when you stay in nursing homes
Facts: You have probably heard the phrase “once you are in the nursing home, you are there for life.” That is hardly the case, though. Nursing homes tend to be expensive, but fortunately, laws exist to help you retain your independence by remaining in your own home if possible. These laws, known as Medicaid waivers, are a great way to pay for nursing home care.
Nursing Home: What to consider
There are changes in your parent’s behavior that may indicate a need for a nursing home. Your parent might now need help with bathing, dressing, or toileting, or they might have trouble walking, as well as have frequent falls, or they could start being confused. These changes can be sudden and hard for you as a family member to cope with. Your parent can still live at home with a bit of help, but it may be a clever idea to consult a physician about hospitalization or care at a skilled nursing facility if you are concerned.
When choosing a nursing home for your elderly family member, it is important to know the differences between nursing homes and other senior living facilities. With proper care, most elderly individuals can live independently at home, but some situations are better suited for them to live somewhere else.
If you are like many people, you have not thought about needing long-term care or nursing home care, or you could be in denial about it. But the reality is that long-term care and nursing home care cost money, and unless you have planned for this, it can strain your finances. It is a good idea to start considering what to do, as it can help protect your assets and financial security.