This morning I read an article in the Chicago Tribune with great interest. The article stated that “most of us would prefer not to live in a nursing home.” We at Cascade Companion Care have found this to be true as well. Most people would prefer to find a way to remain at home as long as they can, and they experience better outcomes when they do.
The Tribune was reporting on a new effort to make nursing homes imitate the home environment. They are trying to create institutions that are “homey”, where they can offer “person centered care”, and where “the resident is treated as a whole person”. These new directions miss the point that many of these residents could continue to thrive in their own homes!
Consider the two kinds of residents who are reported to choose these nursing homes. The first is someone needing “a short-term stay to recuperate after a hospitalization for illness or surgery”. At Cascade Companion Care, we find that it is highly stressful for a senior to be hospitalized. For many, it is a very disorienting and draining experience. Transferring to yet another new environment for a recuperative stay would only add to the strain on the senior’s well-being. We provide short-term stay care for many patients. For some, we assist in the move back home, providing a Welcome Home Care package for only $99 that includes transport from the hospital, or being ready to greet you at home, and providing four hours of “settling in” services such as fresh linens and laundry, bathing, preparing a meal, organizing new equipment and supplies, or charting new medication schedules. Others may require ongoing daily care in the comfort of their own home until they have regained their previous capacities. You might be surprised to learn that seniors in Assisted Living homes who suffer an illness or surgery often prefer to have one of our helpful caregivers providing assistance in their unit or apartment rather than have to go to a transitional care unit.
The second category of residents the article mentions are those who require “round the clock supervision”. Again, even this level of need does not necessitate that a senior be uprooted from his home. We offer 24/7, round the clock supervision and could refer you to many of our very grateful clients who are thrilled that their loved ones have the support, assistance, and companionship of a highly trained caregiver in their own homes.
Finally, the article states that most families make the decision that a nursing home is needed when there are “two or more activities in which they need complete assistance.” This is rather surprising. When we do a free, in-home assessment, we often find that a senior needs assistance with a number of the activities of daily living. They might be unable to bathe, dress, transfer from one location to another, cook, handle bills and correspondence, toilet, clean, remember to take medications, and many other critical daily activities. Our caregivers are specifically trained for just this scenario! Whether they assist with light housekeeping, errands and transportation, meal preparation, companionship, pet care, personal care, and transfers, they are able to do so while encouraging the senior’s independence in areas of competence. All this is done in the environment in which the senior is most comfortable, surrounded by the things and people they love.
We know that there comes a time when remaining at home is no longer medically advisable. But before you decide that a nursing home is the only alternative for your loved one, we invite you to find out how in- home care can skillfully address the same needs while allowing the senior to enjoy the comforts of home.