Because it’s National Assisted Living Week, what better time than now to address the phrase we’ve all heard or maybe even said: “I’m never moving to the nursing home.” Maybe you’ve promised never to “put” your loved one “away” during their sunset years. Most of our thoughts on “moving to the home” are from back when senior care communities were white-walled and sterile environments, versus what they are today.
Even though senior living has come a long way, it’s such a tough conversation to have and think about. When we’re healthy and able, no one wants to think about what if… No one wants to succumb to needing care or making the hard decision to find a loved one a safe place to live where they can have the help they require. If we are lucky to live long enough, though, it may happen.
If you’ve adamantly sworn off moving, where do you turn for help if you can’t get by alone? Who can help you get dressed, make your meals, do your shopping, do house cleaning and personal care; and who can help you take the medications you need to stay alive and feel decent?
When there’s no plan other than saying “I am never,” the choices might be reduced and even predetermined once you can’t make it at home any longer. Often, a skilled nursing facility may be the only option for those who wait too long.
Decide What’s Right for You
Thankfully, there are alternatives to a skilled nursing facility. Assisted living creates the opportunity for continued independence. Sure, a skilled nursing facility will provide excellent care, but it comes at a cost when everything is done FOR you. First, the price at a skilled nursing facility is higher; second, it comes at a physical cost.
Skilled nursing facilities will do everything needed, including dressing, bathing, and daily care. The hallmark difference between assisted living and skilled nursing is the presence and need for 24-hour care provided by a registered nurse. If you don’t need that much help, it’s important to continue doing what you can for yourself and finding the care that matches your needs.
Assisted living provides some support with things you need, while you are encouraged to continue doing all you can to keep your independence. Being independent not only feels good, but it can also reduce what you pay for assisted living, which is usually care-based.
Many assisted living communities have added on-site healthcare providers to their list of amenities. Home health services or physical and occupational therapists can help residents regain or maintain their health and abilities. They can help those who need it to increase strength, improve balance, and reduce their risk of falls.
Test the Waters
A tour of assisted living is a great way to see what it is, but it’s not the complete picture. A tour won’t alleviate your fears or allow you to see the full benefits. A trial stay may help you see the whole picture without signing a long-term lease.
Edgewood offers short-term stays in many of our communities. Short-term stays can be for those considering assisted living, or those needing seasonal help or support while their caregivers are away. Short-term stays can be for a week, month, season, or six months.
Sometimes short-term stays can help someone regain their abilities and strength to return home, more able to do things independently. Other times, “short-termers” realize after staying how much more they can enjoy hobbies, social engagements, and daily living while having help available just in case. The fears alleviated by having support around can decrease anxiety and increase joy.
If you’re among the many who say they’re never moving, we encourage you to see what’s around if you need help. If you’d like to learn how Edgewood Healthcare can be a part of your future, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.