Over time, there comes the point where your parents aren’t able to care for themselves anymore and require assistance in daily tasks. After all those years of caring for themselves and others, your elderly parents now deserve a healthy retirement. However, ensuring a happy and healthy retirement for elderly parents is often quite challenging. Many of us are stuck in the dilemma of choosing between a nursing home or our own homes for our elderly parents to retire in. After all, we’re all hesitant to have a stranger taking care of our elderly parents. However, on the other hand, there’s a high possibility that you won’t be able to provide the specialized care and attention that your elderly parents require.
In such a situation, it’s essential to make decisions carefully, considering aspects of both choices. Ensuring a happy retirement for your parents is your responsibility. Wrong decisions can often lead to dire consequences. So, to help you make the right decision, here are some essential benefits and drawbacks of keeping elderly parents in nursing homes.
Benefit: Expert care
The primary purpose of a nursing home is to provide expert and specialized care for your elderly parents that you couldn’t offer them at home. Nursing homes are equipped with highly trained staff with a medical background to ensure your loved ones stay healthy at all times. Staff members assist your parents in daily tasks, such as bathing, eating, and moving. It can often be quite challenging to take care of all these tasks each day at your home. Moreover, they frequently take safety precautions and medical examinations.
However, not all nursing homes provide the care your elderly parents deserve. Many have the potential to provide sub-quality care, which can decrease the mental and physical wellbeing of your parents. So, it’s crucial to choose the right nursing home, to avoid any future complications.
Benefit: Opportunities for socialization
At the time of retirement, your elderly parents need to spend more time socializing with others. Not only does it keep them happy, but it also leads to improved mental and physical wellbeing. In fact, in older adults, socialization can help to increase life span, according to the national institute on aging. However, at home, there is little opportunity for socialization. There are not many opportunities to interact with new people. In worse cases, older people are completely isolated at home and cannot interact with others. It can put your elderly parents at significant risk, especially considering their vulnerable age.
In contrast, a nursing home can offer many opportunities for socialization, saving your elderly parents from feeling lonely and depressed. Many other older adults are living in the same nursing home, with whom your parents can socialize. There are socializing areas, such as dining rooms and entertainment areas, which can further boost socialization. More importantly, all interactions are within the supervision of trained staff members to keep your parents safe at all times.
Benefit: Access to entertainment
Older people can often suffer from boredom in their own homes due to a lack of entertainment. They require fun activities daily for a happy retirement and healthy life. More importantly, researchers suggest that it becomes more important to stay mentally active as people age to prevent cognitive decline. However, it’s not possible to provide the level of mental and physical stimulation that your elderly parents require at home.
A nursing home can be the best source of entertainment for your elderly parents, providing all sorts of entertainment. Libraries and reading areas are quite common in nursing homes and can keep your elderly parents engaged. Nursing homes also design programs and activities, including brain games, that help to increase mental activity. Modern technology, such as smart personal tablets and computers, provides endless activities and entertainment. Popular lecturers and professors also visit nursing homes to speak on engaging topics your elderly parents may find helpful.
Benefit: A healthier lifestyle
Care isn’t enough to ensure healthy living for your elderly parents, as enforcing a healthy lifestyle is equally important. However, your elderly parents may not fully follow a healthy lifestyle at home due to a lack of specialized areas and equipment. More importantly, it’s easy to grow lazy at home when no one else follows the same lifestyle.
However, a nursing home makes sure your elderly parents follow a healthy lifestyle. Nursing homes have various fitness equipment and also offer fitness classes from trained coaches. What’s best is that everything gets supervised to ensure your parents stay safe and sound. Moreover, nursing homes also provide nutritionally rich diets designed by dietitians to them. If your parents have conditions such as diabetes, the nursing home will make sure your parents receive specialized meals on time to keep them fit.
By keeping your elderly parents at home, you have to worry about any significant expenses. After all, you will be the one providing all care and assistance, which doesn’t require any money. In contrast, a nursing home can be pretty costly. It requires large amounts of funds even to put a single individual in a nursing home. Nursing homes have to provide medical, physical, and mental assistance, alongside different rooms for activities, costing you a lot of money. More importantly, if you go for a relatively cheaper nursing home, you may be putting your loved ones at risk. It increases the chances of low-quality healthcare. So, your only option is a high-quality yet expensive nursing home. If your elderly parents have saved some retirement money, a nursing home may be a good decision. Otherwise, it’s best to keep your elderly parents at home to ensure better care.
Drawback: Loss of independence
You can’t ignore that your elderly parents are less in control of their lives in a nursing home than living in their own homes. From eating food to moving and bathing, every activity has set times, which your parents will have to follow each day. After experiencing an independent life, it can be challenging for anyone to shift to a controlled lifestyle, let alone older people.
Older people are sensitive individuals who can often get depressed due to significant life changes, such as moving to a controlled nursing home. Set times and a controlled lifestyle are indeed put in place to keep your parents healthy and safe. However, your parents may not be able to do something they like due to loss of independence. Moreover, some nursing homes force them to participate in activities, which can further cause mental and physical harm. In worse cases, they become depressed and cannot perform even simple tasks due to a lack of motivation. On the other hand, your elderly parents can still live an independent life outside a nursing home, which may be preferable to some older adults.
Over time, all elderly parents start to require some assistance and care in their daily lives. It’s our responsibility to recognize their conditions and provide the care they deserve. Therefore, choosing whether you should move your elderly parents to a nursing home is a crucial decision that you must make carefully. The advantages and disadvantages mentioned above will certainly help you in making the right decision.