The Pros and Cons of Long-Term Care
Aug 30, 2019 by Maria Thompson
When you hear “nursing home” what do you think? Maybe you can hear your mom saying, “Don’t you ever put me in a home.” Maybe you feel guilty. “My dad needs more help than I can give him. But am I the type of person who puts him in a ‘home?’”
Caregiving can be a full-time job. With your other responsibilities, you’re stretched thin. Even so, the guilt is real. “Giving up” and letting someone else take care of mom or dad can seem selfish. But it’s not.
While caregiving can be extremely rewarding, it can take its toll. According to a report by AARP, caregivers who work outside the home “were more likely to report fair or poor health in general, and they were significantly more likely to report depression, diabetes, hypertension, or pulmonary disease than non-caregivers of the same age.”
Over time, your mom or dad’s health needs may outpace what you’re able to provide. Do any of these sound familiar?
- They sleep in a chair or stay in bed because it’s too difficult to get up or move around the house?
- They need help bathing or toileting because their home can’t be fitted with grab bars?
- They don’t eat. As we age, our appetite decreases. So even though we need to eat, we might not. (Not eating exacerbates medical conditions and the side effects of medications.)
- You find things in odd places. For example, the phone in the refrigerator or the milk in the closet. Or do they lose things or accuse you of taking them?
- You need someone to stay with them if you’re out for the day?
What is long-term care?
Long-term care, what we used to call a nursing home, is 24-hour skilled nursing for individuals who have complex medical conditions or disabilities. Needs such as:
- Complex medication management, including IVs
- Incontinence and catheter care
- Colostomy care
- Diabetes management
- Durable medical supplies and hospital beds
- Assistance with daily living such as bathing, dressing and toileting
But long-term care is more than that.
Engaging the mind and body
Residents might not go out for power walks or remember what day it is, but social and physical activities still play a big part in their days.
To thrive, we all need social, physical and mental engagement. In long-term care such as at Knute Nelson Care Center, residents keep engaged actively, socially, physically and spiritually through a range of daily activities such as concerts, crafts, Bingo, coffee and happy hour, Bible study and much more.
24/7 Care for Health and Engagement
It can be a hard decision but it may be the best thing you can do for mom or dad’s health and well-being:
- Nursing staff monitor their medications – they get the right dose at the right time
- Nursing staff monitor their health conditions, thus keeping them more stable
- They eat three nutritious, delicious meals a day
- They interact with other residents and participate in activities – they engage with life
- They can’t wander off or get lost
Your family’s new normal
When you know that your mom or dad is well taken care of and safe, you can focus on your relationship. When once you needed to concentrate on making sure that their physical needs were met first, you can concentrate on precious one-on-one and family time.
Call us at (320) 763-6653 to find out if long-term care is right for your loved one.