Over the past few decades, there have been some issues with nursing homes and because of this they do not have a very solid reputation. Many elderly people dread begin placed in a nursing home because they are familiar with the bad reputation. There are good nursing homes, but even if you find one, your loved one will still have some losses, such as their independence, privacy and personal freedom. If someone is elderly, but doesn't yet need constant medical care, it's important that you don't make the decision to send them to a nursing home prematurely. There are other options.
The alternative to a nursing home is an Assisted Living Facilities, popularly known as ALF. These facilities are for people needing assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), but who want to live as independently as possible for as long as they can. Assisted living purpose is to bridge the gap between independent living and nursing homes.
Determining the Level of Independence
For those who are not able to live by themselves, but do not yet require constant care, assisted living centers are a great option. These facilities offer residents help with ADLs such as dressing, laundry, housekeeping, medication, bathing, and eating. A lot of these facilities can provide medical care as well, though this might not be as readily available to residents as it is in a nursing home.
Understanding the Differences
The decision on whether to send your loved one to an assisted living facility or a nursing home hangs on many factors, such as the following.
* Cost: Assisted living is rather pricey because individuals live in apartment-like settings. Nursing homes are cheaper because the elderly live in a more communal space, with little private space.
* Medicare is almost always available for someone in a nursing home. It may not be for someone living in Assisted Living Facility.
* Facilities: Assisted living facilities are focused on individuals. Nursing homes are focused on the collective group.
* Place: While assisted living facility is a place for one or few particular aged at a time, a nursing home houses a lot of patients. The former house an individual who is offered all the help and assistance he or she needs, while the nursing home provides far less individual care.
* Nursing homes are designed to care for people who have many health care requirements, and cannot care for themselves. Assisted living facilities are designed to assist elderly persons who can basically care for many of their personal needs themselves.
* In an assisted living facility, skilled nursing care is not usually available except on an as-needed basis. A nursing home is more like a hospital environment and provides full-scale, skilled nursing care.
* Assisted living facilities are designed to assist people in preparing meals, bathing, dressing or performing household chores. If your loved one is often confused or experiencing memory problems, assisted living may be the answer. If they have a debilitating disease or condition, they might need a nursing home.
The Well Being of Your Loved One
There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to use a nursing home or an assisted living facility, such as cost. However, your main concern should be the well being of your loved one. Besides, there are different ways of obtaining the necessary funds, such as financial aid. If you end up putting your loved one in a situation where they are suffering, all of the effort you might end up investing to resolve the situation will most likely heavily outweigh the money you might have saved.
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About the Author: For more info, see Long Term Care and Long Term Care. Ron King is a web developer; visit his website Authoring Articles. Copyright 2007 Ron King. This article may be reprinted if the resource box is left intact and the links live.