Alternatives to Nursing Homes
||Dr. Jodee Graifman Meddy, DO, MS, LNHA|
Co-founder of SeniorSite.com.
Dr. Jodee Meddy is a nationally acclaimed Doctor, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator and an expert on Long Term / Extended Care issues and Nursing Homes.
There are other places besides
nursing homes where you or a loved one can get the necessary care; home
health care, assisted living, and adult day care are also options. The
hospice movement, also, has grown over the past two decades in the United
States, as patients who are terminally ill are choosing more and more to die
at home rather than in the hospital, where the environment can be sterile
and unfeeling. More and more hospitals are providing hospice services, home
health care, and adult day-care as a part of their long-term care options.
Putting a parent or loved one into a nursing home brings a whole set of
anxieties along with it. Who decides where they go? Who decides it's time?
Everybody involved--children, parents, caregivers, patients--should discuss
the options. Try to arrive at a consensus among you to avoid hard feelings
that can arise if a parent, for instance, is reluctant to go into a home, or
if a caregiver feels unable to continue, or feels guilty about putting
someone in. By examining your options you should feel better about your
decision and make you feel that you've explored all the long-term care
avenues open to you.
Economics of Nursing Homes
Unfortunately, there are lots of financial issues at stake when deciding to
put someone in a nursing home. It costs a lot of money to maintain an
elderly person in poor health for an indefinite period of time. Medicare
will only pay for nursing home care if the patient goes in after being
hospitalized; even then, the benefits are limited. When they run out, and
the patient's finances are depleted, Medicaid will pick up the costs, but
certain nursing homes limit the number of Medicaid patients it will take in.
They prefer to take "private-pay" patients. Be sure to find out whether the
nursing home of your choice has beds for both Medicare and Medicaid
Nursing Homes Close To Home
Where are the best nursing homes near you? It is sometimes easier to put
someone who needs care into a nursing home if the home is close to you. If
you or a loved one is considering long- or short-term nursing home care,
find out which homes are in your area. Are you planning to retire to a warm
state in the Sun Belt? to Florida? Check those states to see what's
Not for Good and Not Just for Old People
Nursing homes are not just for old people--they often admit younger patients
who are recovering from accidents, or need other short-term care. The
mentally challenged can also find themselves in nursing homes for short- or
long-term care. When looking for a particular nursing home, check to see
which homes near you have short-term beds for the ill, the mentally
impaired, and younger patients, depending on your needs.