Can Nursing Homes Provide Necessary, Routine Medical Care?
It is a certainty for many that at some point in the future, they will need to make a decision about the long-term care of their parents. If your parents are healthy and able to move around on their own, then perhaps you would prefer to have them stay with you, or maybe close to your home. When the elderly in question are able to retain a degree of independence such as this, then they may choose to live alone.
On the other hand, those elderly parents who do have health problems may need to be relocated to a nursing home. Long-term care nursing can at times be viewed as a negative choice, as though it is inconsiderate towards the elderly. However, when an elderly parent has one or several ailments, from Alzheimer’s to a restrictive lung disease, establishing the elderly at a nursing home is a matter of good care, not neglect.
Some seniors need a level of care that can be quite difficult to meet at home, as 24-hour skilled nursing care is hard to bring into one’s home unless money is no object. Hiring an in-house caregiver is simply not realistic for many families. For example, a patient that has restrictive lung disease may have either intersitial lung disease or pulmonary fibrosis. These conditions will restrict the lungs from fully inflating with each breath. This condition is not like emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.
A person with a restrictive lung disease can benefit from a skilled nursing care facility. So can an elderly person suffering from Alzheimer’s. There are some senior care facilities that have special wings devoted specifically for patients with certain medical conditions, such as memory impairment. The patients receive better care, and are in the company of other people living with the same condition. Many experts agree that a sense of belonging to a community is incredibly important to staying mentally healthy as we age.
While a senior care facility is capable of helping many people with different issues, it is not miraculous. A nursing home does not house people with serious medical conditions. It is not a replacement for a hospital, and these facilities do not take patients who require the intensive care that a hospital stay requires. The goal is to help seniors live in a community why still providing care, whether in the form of speech therapy, cognitive therapy, or physical therapy. Through therapy, whether physical or cognitive, a patient may actually regain a level of mobility they have not experienced for years.
The decision to set up an elderly parent at a nursing home is a hard one. However, do not write off the functionality of a senior care facility, whose goal is to help an elderly patient learn to live with the medical conditions that have developed as they’ve aged.