Nursing Homes or Hired Care Givers?
When parents and relatives become too old to live at home the two major options which are usually considered are nursing homes and residential aged care services. But which of these options is better? Both have their benefits and their downfalls but they provide very varied environs and services.
Nursing homes are most peoples’ first choice when it comes to providing care for an elderly family member and this is often the result of a lack of understanding. Nursing homes are a practical way of providing the necessary care to an elderly person but they can actually have a detrimental effect on the patient. Elderly people often complain about being bored in nursing homes because of the stagnant and repetitive nature of life there. Whilst boredom may seem inevitable to a young person, it is not and it can actually lead to depression and a willingness to ‘give up’.
Nursing homes are often viewed by the elderly as a way in which the family is distancing themselves from them. This can cause a sense of loneliness and can in turn cause their health to decline far more rapidly than expected.
Not all nursing homes are bad but the main complaint is that the elderly do not receive enough individual care. The simple cause of this is that there are just too many people in most nursing homes and there is not time to care for each one individually to the extent that they may require.
Hired caregivers are able to provide a far more personalised level of care to their charges. This, coupled with the fact that the elderly person is able to remain within their own home, will provide a far more comfortable experience as an elderly person. This service is actually often cheaper than placing a family member in a nursing home because the care costs are not as high.
Residential care providers are often able to do far more than merely care for the patients. In a nursing home environ the carer is charged with looking after all of the patients so they are constantly being distracted by other duties. A hired caregiver on the other hand will be paid to improve the comfort and living standards of one individual or a married couple.
A personal caregiver is thus able to become more of a friend than just a carer. They will be able to take the elderly person(s) for a walk, sit and play games with them, take them shopping in their car and help them to prepare meals. This level of care far outstrips that which is available in nursing homes and will provide a happier and more comfortable environment. The close contact with the carer addresses the issues of loneliness and the combination of family support and hired care can help to prolong the happy life of the elderly to a far greater degree than nursing homes are able to.
An option which is not often considered is to utilise both hired carers and a nursing home together. There are no preventative systems which stop you from hiring a carer to spend one to one time with your parent in a nursing home. This practice can help you to tackle the loneliness felt by some elderly people in a nursing home and will enable them to receive a better level of support within the system.
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