As people age, their living situations change to accommodate their needs. Early in their retirement, a person may be completely independent and capable of living on their own without assistance. As time goes on and one's body becomes less reliable, they may find themselves in need of help to complete the tasks of daily living, such as cooking, cleaning, or basic hygiene. Many people at this juncture will have family members act as their caregivers, or they hire an in-home caregiver to help them remain home. However, there can come a time when this assistance is not enough to support the needs of an ageing loved one.
The truth is, there comes a time in everyone's life where one must decide whether they require skilled nursing care as they age. Choosing to move to a nursing care facility can be an emotional time. Many older adults feel as if they are losing their independence, or that their families do not want them around anymore. However, nursing care facilities offer a wide range of benefits to seniors and their loved ones and can provide them with a sense of independence and peace of mind that they were previously missing.
What is a Skilled Nursing Care Facility?
Skilled nursing care facilities are healthcare institutions that have at least one registered nurse on staff twenty-four hours a day. They also have a doctor on staff and a place to house and dispense medication that the residents may need. The staff at these facilities help with a variety of tasks of daily living, including meals and basic hygiene.
Skilled nursing facilities provide medical supervision for residents, which allows older adults with complex medical needs to live in a safe and supportive home while allowing them to retain as much independence as possible. People come to skilled nursing facilities for many reasons. Many people will go to one after being released from a hospital for a significant injury, surgery, or illness while they still require regular medical supervision, and stay until they are well enough to leave. Others are older adults who have medical conditions that require proper care to maintain a healthy life.
Reasons To Consider a Nursing Care Facility
For ageing adults and their loved ones, there are a lot of benefits to living in a nursing care facility. Here are five reasons to consider skilled nursing for an ageing adult.
Healthcare Services and Medication Management
Nursing care facilities have at least one, and often many more, skilled nurses available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. These nurses consistently monitor the health and wellbeing of the facility's residents, so older adults and their loved ones know that their needs are being met. Many ageing loved ones have a long list of medications they require to keep themselves healthy. While many seniors in assisted living facilities or living on their own see their physician every few months or so, residents at nursing care facilities see their doctor every week. Additionally, many older adults require multiple medications to keep them healthy. Nursing care facilities offer medication management to their residents, so they never lose track of what they need and what they have taken.
Assistance with Activities of Daily Living
Activities of daily living (ADL) are classified as routine activities one performs every day in their life without help. These activities include bathing, grooming, dressing, meal preparation and feeding, transportation, the ability to move around, and the ability to regulate continence on one's own. As people age, they often find themselves unable to perform one or more of these activities on their own, and so require help whenever the need arises. At skilled nursing care facilities, there is staff on hand around the clock to assist seniors with these activities, so they can enjoy their lives without worrying about how they will meet their basic needs.
A Balanced Diet and Nutrition
Proper nutrition is vital to maintaining one's health. For seniors, good nutrition is even more critical to their wellbeing. Many people at this stage are not able to manage their meal preparation and feeding on their own, making it difficult for them to maintain a healthy diet. At skilled nursing facilities, all meals are provided to the residents. This ensures they are receiving the proper nutrition for their individual needs.
Opportunities for Social Interaction
Loneliness in seniors has serious medical implications. Isolationis a growing concern among older adults, and it can lead to severe issues with depression. Depression and loneliness have adverse effects on one's health, leading to the development of serious illnesses and even death. In skilled nursing facilities, seniors are provided with opportunities to interact with their peers on a regular basis. Between games and social events, seniors are offered the chance to forge new relationships, decreasing their likelihood of loneliness and depression.
Activity and Physical Therapy
As a person ages, movement can become more challenging. Adequate exercise is crucial to the health of ageing adults, but it can be challenging for them to participate in any form of exercise regularly. Seniors often become sedentary due to therisk of falling, which is extremely dangerous for them. At skilled nursing facilities, there is staff that is specially trained to help seniors get adequate exercise through one-on-one sessions and group exercise activities.
The Bottom Line
For most people, ageing is an inevitable part of life. As a person ages, they are not always able to care for themselves adequately, which can put a lot of stress on themselves and their families. Skilled nursing care facilities offer seniors the opportunity to live their lives in a healthy and supportive environment. They allow them to maintain as much independence as possible as they age and forge meaningful relationships with their peers. Ageing adults and their loved ones benefit from the peace of mind knowing that their needs are being met, and they are taken care of both mentally and physically.