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Nursing Home Care vs Aging in Place:What to Consider

Although seniors may want to age at home, it may not be for everyone. In the USas of 2023, approximately 1.2 million reside in nursing facilities. New York state ranks the second highest with 96,866 nursing home residents behind California.

Reasons Seniors Reside in a Nursing Home

Here are some common reasons for needing nursing home care, which may be incombination for some individuals.

  1. Dementia/Alzheimer’s–These and other mental issues cause cognitive problems that necessitate 24/7 care and prevent seniors from selfcare.
  2. Memory Care–Certain mental health problems and behavioral issues (abuse,wandering off) require help with daily activities and supervision.
  3. Long-Term Care–Elderly people who have long-term disabilities and/orrequire skilled nursing care requirements cannot always be managed at home.
  4. Short-Term Care–Temporary care is needed requiring therapy or rehabilitation, which may be due to illness, surgery, or end-of-life care.

Pros and Cons of Nursing Home

Although residing in a nursing home may be the right choice, it’s important to researchand compare facilities to ensure quality care.

Pros–Skilled nursing facilities go beyond basic care by providing round-the-clock medical care. In addition to medical care, a resident’s daily activities are supported with the help of caregiver assistance including meals, housekeeping, transfers, laundry, and personal care needs.

ConsNursing home care is expensive and can cost over $100,000 annually in New York. With this cost comes a loss of independence due to set schedules and reduced daily choices like when and what to eat. Feelings of depression can develop from loneliness, isolation, and being separated from family.

Pros and Cons of At-Home Care

Staying at home while aging is the goal of many seniors. But this option may not be right for everyone and depends on each individual’s circumstances.

Pros – Personalized care, custom options, independent living, a familiar setting, and privacy are some of the benefits of aging at home. Depending on the type of medical and personal care you need will determine the feasibility and cost, which is shown to be 30% less than in a nursing home at 40 hours per week.

Cons – Medical conditions such as blindness, hearing loss, and arthritis can make living at home dangerous. Dizziness and cognitive impairments can also pose health challenges that prevent seniors from aging in place. Hired caregivers to assist with health care and daily living activities can drain an elderly person’s fixed income. Home modifications may also be necessary, which can be costly. Other disadvantages can include loneliness and threats to security (crime).

Choosing What’s Right

Seek help when making these important life’s decisions. What’s right for you can be vastly different than what suits someone else. Understand what each option means to ensure the best outcome.

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