our everyday life

What Are the Advantages of Nursing Homes?

by Lesley Barker

When a family member requires more care than their relatives can provide, it is time to consider a nursing home. As long as you do your homework to ensure that you choose a reputable, affordable nursing home, the decision to move a loved one to such a facility can be positive. Although there may be fewer actual hours spent together, the time that you do have will be of a better quality. Because all of the chores related to housekeeping, feeding, and nursing your loved one will be managed by the nursing home, your visits can be devoted solely to spending quality time together.

Around the Clock Care

The most obvious advantage of placing a loved one in a nursing home is that there is continual care available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That is practically impossible for family members to provide at home. Even with the ability to monitor the loved one remotely with FM listening devices or Web cameras, the attentiveness such monitoring requires means that the caregivers in the family never get a real break. In a nursing home, there is always a trained health care worker available to monitor and, when necessary, intervene to help your loved one.

Advantages to the Family

Because you can be certain that your loved one is safe at a reputable nursing home and that he or she is also being fed and given medications on time, your family can return to a more normal life. Because the people who are most likely to serve as the caregivers for elderly and impaired relatives still often have children at home, it is a relief to once again be able to prioritize their needs. When the nursing home is close enough to your home to allow regular or even daily visits, even short visits, you can m maximize your availability to the whole family.

Special Care Units

Many nursing homes offer their patients a selection of graduated care units. If your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer's disease, many nursing homes have special care units staffed with expertly trained caregivers,. Nursing homes also usually have occupational therapists, physical therapists, and psychologists available in house to provide therapies and/or critical care for the residents as needed, with the convenience of having to transport your loved one to various medical offices.

Social Advantages

Nursing homes provide lots of social options for the residents who are able to participate. Without having to leave the facility, patients can do crafts and art projects, play bridge or bingo, attend concerts and dances, play games, or even go to the gym. Some nursing homes even have swimming pools.

Financial Advantages

Obviously, there are differences in the amenities at various nursing homes, and the more a nursing home has to offer, the more it likely will cost. Many nursing homes are certified by Medicare and Medicaid, so these programs often cover the costs of eligible patients.

About the Author

Lesley Barker, director of the Bolduc House Museum, authored the books "St. Louis Gateway Rail—The 1970s," published by Arcadia, and the "Eye Can Too! Read" series of vision-related e-books. Her articles have appeared in print and online since the 1980s. Barker holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Washington University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Webster University.