Pros and Cons of Putting Your Aging Parents in Nursing Homes

  • Added:
    Feb 27, 2013
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Ballet and MACS at Pleasantview Care Facility
Ballet and MACS at Pleasantview Care Facility
Photo by University of the Fraser Valley

Children are often faced with the dilemma of how to best care for their aging parents. The situation becomes more complicated if one parent has already passed, leaving the other to fend for his or herself. Since most parents still want to live independently and do not always welcome the idea of moving in with their children, the idea of putting them in nursing homes often lead to heated arguments and lengthy discussions among family members.

Nursing homes are a great alternative, but it isn't for everyone. Before making a decision on the matter, here are some pros and cons to consider.

The Advantages:

24/7 Medical Attention
Majority of nursing homes are staffed with doctors and nurses who are on call 24/7. This is a big advantage if you have a parent with a medical condition that needs constant monitoring.  Caring for an elderly parent who is ailing requires a lot of time and effort. If you or your family members cannot do this because of work and other responsibilities, it would be best to let medical professionals handle it.

Being With Peers
The elderly value their social lives and prefer to be around people their age. Most nursing homes keep their residents on a busy schedule, with recreational and interactive activities that foster their sense of community.

Accidents in the home or break ins are just a couple of safety concerns for aging parents. Nursing homes have been outfitted to house the elderly and provide them with comfort as well as security. They have access ramps, hospital beds as well as medical supplies and equipment such as oxygen tanks and crash carts. Of course, there are also security guards and watchers on duty to maintain the safety and security of the facility.

The Disadvantages:

Standard-compliant medical facilities and trained personnel come at a cost, and this is why most nursing homes charge their residents steep fees. In a perfect world, your parents would have saved for their retirement, but if this is something you and other family members would be paying for, the cost can burn deep holes in your pockets.

It's Not Family
Nursing homes do focus on building community spirit among its residents. However, for elderly persons, they're still not family. Aging parents who are bed-ridden or suffering from dementia often want to be looked after by their own kith and kin. While family visits are welcome in all nursing homes, driving out on a weekend can take its toll on ordinary workers. The lack of family presence often leaves the elderly lonely and depressed.

Nursing Home Horror Stories
One disadvantage of leaving your parents in budget nursing homes is the lack of trained personnel to watch over the residents. Unlike the big nursing homes where they are treated like hotel guests or hospital patients, there are other facilities that are sadly lacking in upkeep and manpower.

After weighing the pros and cons of nursing homes, it is ideal to have a heart to heart talk with your aging parent. Ask for their opinion and how they would feel about staying in a nursing home. If they don't agree to it, there are plenty of other options that can be explored.

Author's Profile

This article is written by James aka Triggerman. James is also a contributing writer for Jacksonville Home Care For Elderly.

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