When you think of senior care communities, do you envision sterile, hospital-like environments full of rushing nurses and unstimulated seniors? For many people, these old stereotypes of nursing homes are forever in mind due to childhood visits to a great grandmother decades ago. Now, nursing homes are more resident-centered than in the past, but are still not appropriate venues for all older adults.
Fortunately, if you are seeking senior living options, you are no longer limited to nursing homes. The senior care industry has evolved over the past four decades and now offers solutions that are tailored to older adults of all abilities, challenges and budgets. Here are just a few reasons why you should seek alternatives to nursing homes.
1. You don’t have complex medical needs.
Nursing homes offer support for older adults living with significantly complex medical needs. If you or your loved one do not have conditions that require assistance with equipment like wound vacs or G-tubes, you likely do not need nursing home assistance. Instead, you can get help with medication management or support in an assisted living community and feel more comfortable.
2. You don’t need care in the middle of the night, unless it is an emergency.
Nursing homes are hustling and bustling places throughout the day and night. Chances are, between the alarms buzzing and restless neighbors calling out, your sleep is going to suffer in a nursing home setting. If you are just looking for the peace of mind that accompanies knowing someone is nearby if you have an emergency in the middle of the night, assisted living is a much better fit for you at this moment.
3. You are seeking peers to connect with.
Assisted living communities offer friendly neighbors right down the hall from your apartment. These peers will have similar abilities and challenges as you, making connection and friendship fairly easy. When you move into a nursing home, your neighbors can vary significantly with mobility, communication and memory. Finding a connection among these distinct differences can be more challenging, leaving you feeling lonely.
4. You want to live in a homelike environment.
Your assisted living apartment features your own space, including a counter to brew coffee and a table to host friends for coffee. Meals are in a dining room that seems more like a restaurant or lounge, and there are plenty of nooks and crannies to find a new book or go online. Nursing homes, because of the clinical work they do, offer a more sterile and hospital-like setting.
5. You want plenty of activity options to keep busy.
Nursing homes offer an activity calendar for residents, but assisted living communities offer options that are more robust and tailored for the senior on the go. Look for a calendar with plenty of trips around town to explore the greater community, along with new learning and physical exercise classes right on campus.
Alternatives to nursing homes are plentiful and include more than just assisted living. Independent living and memory care communities also offer a senior living experience perfect for a specific set of older adults. When you begin searching for a senior living community suited just for you, don’t assume a nursing home is the answer. Instead, learn more about senior living solutions near you and begin to determine which is best for you, your needs and your lifestyle.