Nursing Home for the Elderly: Ensuring Safety and Quality of Life

A nursing home is an establishment meant for elderly people who don’t have enough sources of income to cater to their medical health needs or don’t have someone to care for them at home.

This establishment is like a hospital with nurse staff available 24 hours who tend to the needs of their elderly residents. Some nursing homes try their best to establish a homey ambiance for the elderly to feel more at home. Additionally, unlike in hospitals, nurses tend to be more friendly and accommodating so as to establish good relationships with elders.

If you’re elderly or a loved one who’s considering a nursing home, there are many establishments available out there. And in this article, I will share significant information about nursing homes as well as a simple guide to choosing the right nursing home for you.

What Can You Find in a Nursing Home for the Elderly?

Older adults are already in the stage of health decline, that’s why they need more care and attention. Nursing homes provide a wide variety of medical services for the elderly, especially those who are suffering from chronic illnesses, cognitive impairments, and other mental and physical conditions. Each nursing home’s services may vary from one another, but the following are their commonalities:

  1. Quality nursing care
  2. Wound care
  3. Physical therapy
  4. Occupational therapy
  5. Speech therapy
  6. Breathing treatments
  7. Orthopedic care
  8. Antibiotics and intravenous therapy
  9. After surgery support and therapy

Aside from medical services, nursing homes also conduct recreational activities, counseling, social work services, end-of-life care, respite care, and hospice care.

A nursing home may provide medical services for the elderly, but it doesn’t mean that they provide intensive care and medical procedures like those found in hospitals. Thus, nursing homes only provide necessary care based on their resident’s needs.

Why Consider a Nursing Home?

Opting for a nursing home for you or for your older loved one can be a tough decision to make, considering the emotional consequences it may bring. Some families decide on taking their loved ones to a nursing home because of the unavailability of relatives to provide care or a worsening illness that needs more serious attention.

Whatever the reason is, careful assessment of the situation is still crucial before making a final decision. When considering a nursing home, try to ask yourself these questions:

Are the Needs Can Be Safely Met In the Nursing Home?

If you have a severe condition such as a rapidly progressing Alzheimer’s disease, then a skilled nursing home facility is the best option for you. In milder cases where 24-hour care is not needed, the assisted living facility is a better choice.

Has There Been a Recent Medical Assessment?

If you have just been released from hospitalization and are considering a nursing home, your transfer usually doesn’t need further paper works. However, if you are planning to transfer to a nursing home from your home or another nursing facility, there will be a careful assessment as to what your needs are and what nursing homes are suitable for your health care needs.

Is the Need for a Nursing Home Permanent or Temporary?

Before deciding to be admitted to a nursing home, you should also ask yourself if your stay there will be short-term or permanent. If you just had surgery and need support services, this is considered a temporary stay, and most insurances usually cover the cost. However, if your situation requires a permanent stay, expect that it might be a bit more expensive and will not be wholly covered by your insurance.

Can a Caregiver Be Enough to Meet the Needs?

Caregivers play a vital role in providing necessary care for the elderly. However, in some situations, home care services are not enough and the patient needs more than what a caregiver can provide especially for older adults who have severe health conditions or are terminally ill.

Factors Affecting Admission

There are also factors that increase your chances of getting admitted to a nursing home. These factors include:

Guide for Choosing

When you finally decided on transferring to a nursing home, another tricky part is choosing the right facility for you or for your older loved one’s needs.

It’s also advisable to visit the nursing home of your choice to get a feel of the place’s atmosphere and staff. You may also ask yourself any of the questions below to help you evaluate what nursing home is the most suitable.

You can also ask medical staff, administrators, and directors about other information that might be useful for your evaluation.

Final Thoughts

Some elderly fear being transferred to nursing homes due to negative myths about the facilities. Fortunately, nowadays most nursing homes are now committed to providing highly regulated and high-quality services for older adults who are in need of care and attention.

Before opting for a nursing home, you should always weigh things down first and ask the questions mentioned earlier. And when you finally made a decision, now it’s time to carefully evaluate whether a nursing home is suitable for your needs. I hope this article helped you understand nursing homes for the elderly.

Respite Care - How Taking Time for Yourself Can Help You Better Care for Your Loved Ones

Respite care services were established to give caregivers a temporary break from taking care of the elderly they are in charge of. The temporary break can range from hours, days, a few weeks, or several times a month. A caregiver’s work is not easy as it seems. It requires commitment and 24-hour availability especially if the elderly assigned to them are suffering from Alzheimer's disease or other severe illnesses.

Within the duration of respite care services, the elderly are temporarily assisted either by in-home respite care or out-of-home respite care. Respite care is indeed beneficial to both the elderly and the caregiver.

Respite Care - How It Works

When the primary caregiver leaves for a break from caregiving, another professional caregiver will take over temporarily. This is to provide for the elder’s needs while the primary caregiver is away.

There are various services that respite care has to offer. These services include:

  1. Personal care and grooming (e.g., bathing, changing clothes, brushing teeth, etc.)
  2. Cooking and meal service
  3. Socialization opportunities
  4. Medical care
  5. Dementia care
  6. Transportation
  7. Running errands
  8. Medication management
  9. Various recreational activities
  10. Companionship

Types and Options

To know what type of respite care is the most suitable for you or your loved one, let’s take a closer look at each type of respite care service.

In-Home Respite Care

From the name itself, in-home respite care occurs inside one’s own home. In this setup, the professional caregiver will visit the elderly’s house for a few hours, a full-time period, or a few weeks.

One of the major advantages of this type of respite care is that it can make your elderly feel more comfortable unlike in respite care facilities. However, this type of respite care might not be suitable for bedridden and severely ill older adults as a single in-home caregiver is not enough.

Out-Of-Home Respite Care

This is the opposite of in-home respite care where the elderly is put into a residential or non-residential facility while the primary caregiver is away. Out-of-home respite care also includes 2 categories which are:

There are also specialized types of respite care services such as:

Respite Care For Dementia Or Alzheimer’s Disease

This type of respite care is for elderly people with Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia. In-home or out-of-home setups are both good options.

Respite Care For Cancer

There are different types of cancer. Thus, this type of respite care includes personalized care depending on the type of cancer the patient has.

Respite Care For Stroke

Older adults with stroke usually have mobility difficulties. That’s why this respite care includes additional services that cater to the needs of stroke patients.

There are different types of respite care services and choosing the right one depends on the elderly’s health care needs. Also, in deciding the type of respite care to be done, both the family of the older loved one and the professional caregiver will work together to plan personalized care either at home or in a respite care facility.

When is it Needed?

Taking care of the elderly especially those with serious illnesses is no easy task for it needs 24/7 service for their patient. With that said, caregivers become prone to burnout. To address this issue, respite care services are established for the health and well-being of caregivers. Some of the reasons why caregivers need respite care are:

Finding Services

There are many respite care services out there. To further help you with your journey of finding one, here are 3 easy steps you can follow:

How Much is the Service Cost?

The exact cost of respite care depends on the type and duration of the respite care service. Below is the estimated cost of respite care:

Though some insurance companies may cover partial expenses, not all insurance plans include respite care in their coverage.

Sum Up

Caregivers are known to be committed to taking care of their elderly. And unlike other white color jobs, caregivers are on duty 24/7. The job takes a toll on their mental and physical well-being. Respite care plays an important role in keeping the caregivers’ mental and physical well-being at its peak. With that said, caregivers can now fulfill their roles better as they are more fit to do the job.

Also, in choosing a respite care service, it’s important to consider the elderly’s condition and environmental preferences. I hope this article helped you get a grasp of what respite care is all about.