Not only is the term “Nursing Home” antiquated, it also brings up uncomfortable feelings and images of institutionalization and deplorable treatment of our aging parents and loved ones. Too often we read and hear about horror stories occurring at these places, making it easy for us to shake our heads and swear “I’ll never make that choice.”
The more current term can be Long Term Care Facility (LTC), Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF), Skilled Care Center. It’s as if the name change somehow cushions the reality that the need for this is still required, regardless the vows we make out of fear. Granted, all of us want to remain home for as long as possible. A great deal of of the population now is able to.
Some of us don’t it’s just not possible. My work doesn’t allow me to judge or have an opinion in either direction. It always comes down to what a patient needs. So before one makes the fear laced shaking head vow, three things to consider.
The diagnosis requires it. Skilled Nursing (SNF) refers to a patient’s need for care or treatment that can only be done by licensed nurses. Like everything else in life some areas a professional must handle. When it comes to health issues of any sort, this becomes a non-negotiable, as it should be.
The best care does not always mean you. All of us want the best care for our parents and loved ones. I hear this consistently as I speak to families, yet best does not equate to you doing the day in day out care. Long term caregiving can put a strain on the caregivers health requiring an evaluation that is difficult but necessary. Alzheimer’s is one example of a disease that toward the end and anywhere in between the family will be facing placement options.
Not everyone has family and friends. As much as I’d like to say there’s support for everyone as they age, I cannot. It’s a tough world, life can be harsh, for so many reasons multitudes of people are going to age alone. Multitudes of people will be disabled, same goes for chronic illness’s that continue to deteriorate their ability to remain home alone. No matter what we call them, these facilities provide a needed service and aren’t going to go away.
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