One of the great things about in-home care is that it allows seniors to stay in their homes for longer. Most elderly individuals prefer this kind of care. They want to be where they’ve lived for as long as possible, living with the people that they love. Additionally, over the last several years, studies have shown that a lot of people that reside in nursing homes do not necessarily need the level of care that they are getting there. Nursing homes are expensive, inconvenient, and not ideal for keeping families together.
But sometimes, they are absolutely necessary. Sometimes, despite these negative aspects of nursing home residency, they are the best choice for the person that will be staying there.
So, what if the nursing home is the best option for you or a loved one? What then?
If you find your family in this situation, don’t despair. Nursing homes are not bad. They’ve just been overused for many years, placing a strain on the system and inevitably lowering the quality of care that a lot of these facilities are able to provide. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a lot of these shortcomings that an overburdened care system faces when things get tough. This is not ideal by any measure.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to stay that way. And it doesn’t mean that your loved one is doomed to the fate of low quality care if they go into a nursing home. Many of the issues that we’ve seen can be reduced just by spending some time doing some homework.
First, look at the amount of staff that’s on hand. One of the clear benefits of in-home care is that there is a one to one ratio of caregiver to person receiving care. That’s not always possible in a nursing home, but the fewer patients per caregiver on hand, the higher the quality of care will tend to be.
Next, ask about the retention rate of caregivers. In poor conditions, caregivers tend to stay for shorter periods of time. If the retention rate is low, the care received is likely to be lower quality.
I get it. Not everyone is a care expert. Much of the time, people don’t spend much time thinking about senior care until it’s a necessity. Hopefully, this blog post can help a few people to start thinking about care earlier and can improve the quality of care that family members receive. Spending some time looking at what the choices for care that exist in your community comprise of can be a really good start to getting a jump on finding the very best care available for the people that you love.
If you’re not sure where to start, there are likely resources in your community to help. If you’re in the San Francisco area, we’d love to be one of those resources for you. Give us a call to learn more about care and how your family can get connected to the right resources for your unique set of needs.