With the aging of the U.S. population, confronting the need for nursing home care is an increasingly common challenge for families. According to a 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study, over 1.3 million Americans currently reside in nursing homes. A 2012 Ohio State University report found that a majority (52 percent) of women and a third (32 percent) of men will spend time in a nursing home at some point in their lives.
In our last blog post, we discussed the cost of nursing homes and the increasing demographics which will be faced with the decision of whether or not to enroll in such a facility. Many families are looking for options to allow their parents to remain living safely and independently in their homes.
Here are the top five tips identified by experts in the survey (along with the percentage of survey respondents selecting each option):
- Assess your parent’s financial and care needs and available resources. Design a plan of care that supports wellness and encourages social interaction based on your parent’s values (90.0 percent).
- Hire a professional to conduct an in-home assessment to look at the home environment, identify needs, obstacles and safety hazards and make recommendations to keep an aging parent home (85.8 percent).
- Identify and arrange for any needed home modifications, community resources, paid and unpaid care and medical supports to assure home safety and support aging in place (84.7 percent).
- Identify and understand your parent’s preferences (67.6 percent).
- Identify the community support systems and programs that are available, including those that are low cost, free or part of entitlement programs (67.3 percent).
“Confronting the need to move into a nursing home or other facility can be one of the most painful and difficult challenges facing aging adults – it is an issue that geriatric care managers deal with on a daily basis,” said NAPGCM President Jullie Gray. “The good news is that there are many steps that can be taken to help seniors remain in their homes. With some planning and thought, many people can age in place in their homes and communities – and there is ample evidence that living at home can lead to a longer and more fulfilling life,” she added.
Source: National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM). Geriatric care managers are professionals who have extensive training and experience working with older people, people with disabilities and families who need assistance with caregiving issues. To learn more, visit the NAPGCM website (www.caremanager.org).
Source: Assisting Hands® in association with IlluminAge, © IlluminAge 2015.