Nursing home. The words themselves can create visions in your mind of a bleak environment used as a holding cell for seniors. Maybe you have even visited a loved one at a nursing home and walked away worrying if they were living an unhappy life. With the way they’re portrayed in the media, it’s no wonder that nursing homes receive such a bad reputation.
Nursing homes may need an image update, but they provide a lot of important care. There are a lot of inaccurate rumors about how they function as a home for seniors. However, aspects of a nursing home and the services they provide might still be wrong for your loved one. And with a growing number of seniors in need of new housing options, finding the right place may be a difficult task for caregivers.
To help you fact check some hearsay, here is a list of some of the most common rumors associated with nursing homes, and why an assisted living community may provide a better alternative.
Nursing homes are too clinical
The image of a traditional nursing home is a dull place, with fluorescent lighting and no atmosphere. Perhaps you may think of a clinical facility, not much better than a hospital room. Putting a loved one in a home like that may seem cruel, or like a punishment for them.
The truth is that nursing homes do have a more clinical feel than some other senior housing options. Because of the level of skilled nursing care that nursing homes are able to provide for seniors, a slightly more medical space is often necessary to ensure safety for both residents and staff. Nursing homes are able to provide constant care and attention for our loved ones who need to be monitored and assisted for their own safety and well-being.
Nursing homes are for the end of someone’s life
Often we think of nursing homes as the final home for our loved ones. Therefore, because nursing homes are full of similar people there for the same reason, it can be easy to assume that nursing homes are full of sick and lifeless people, with no energy or community.
While this may be an image that comes to mind when considering a nursing home, the truth is that nursing homes provide for a wide variety of members. Some seniors, after a medical emergency or a stroke, need constant care that goes beyond what caregivers can provide. Nursing homes can also offer a part-time stay until your loved one has recovered enough to return home.
In addition, due to the rising number of seniors who need to find a community to live in, nursing homes have plenty of engagement and community opportunities. Movie showings, games, and other activities help ensure that even if your loved one needs a high level of care, and will likely be in a nursing home for the remainder of their life, they aren’t going to be sitting alone in a chair for that time.
Nursing homes don’t offer independence
While nursing homes do offer activities and opportunities for community building, they do still monitor and supervise events fairly strictly. Again, due to the level of specialized care that nursing homes offer to aging seniors who need it, the freedom that is available for residents may be somewhat limited. Meals may be regulated to make sure that a senior is getting all the proper nutrients, and regulated medicine and bedtimes may also help seniors who have trouble remembering things.
However, this is a far cry from the common fear of an environment where seniors have no control over their movements or what they pursue. While seniors in a nursing home are observed to make sure they are safe, and have schedules for meals and medicines, what they choose to do in their free time is up to them.
The benefits of assisted living
For all that a nursing home can offer in terms of care, there are some limitations in what else they can provide. If your loved one needs a less specialized level of care, or they want to have more freedoms, then an assisted living community may be the right choice for you.
Assisted living communities like Vista Springs can offer many things for seniors:
A continuum of care for people who need some medical assistance, but don’t yet need the high level of care provided in a nursing home.
Focus on providing a multitude of ways for seniors to express independence and feel at home
A change that is much less drastic for seniors who are transitioning into a senior living community.
Communities like Vista Springs can offer independent living within the assisted living home.
While nursing homes get a bad rap, they do offer a highly specialized care that is necessary for many seniors. Once you get past the reputation, nursing homes may provide care that your loved one truly needs. However, if you’re looking for senior living that provides a full of life experience as well as care services, an assisted living community may be exactly what you and your aging loved one are looking for.