COVID-19: Nursing Home Alternatives
With the spread of the coronavirus across the world, many people are seeking alternatives to nursing homes.
Nursing Homes and COVID-19
Nursing homes and similar facilities have long offered invaluable service to the elderly. However, there has been a growing trend among the aging “Baby Boomer” population who have sought out alternatives over the past decade. In recent months, this desire has become more pronounced than ever.
Nursing homes are designed to serve older adults, many of whom have chronic medical conditions. However, with their close quarters and large populations, nursing homes can prove deadly to the very residents they intend to serve if infected with COVID-19. In fact, at least a fifth of the coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. have been linked to nursing homes (source).
Nursing Home Alternatives
With such shocking statistics, it’s no wonder that people are looking for alternative options for their loved ones. Fortunately, there are a number of other nursing home alternatives available, such as:
Aging in Place
Many individuals who struggle with mobility may think they need to move out of their homes to maintain their safety, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Many homes can be modified (and often for much less than the cost of moving!) to ensure a senior’s safety. Stairlifts can be installed to help overcome staircases, platform lifts can provide access to raised decks and porches, and grab bars can provide additional peace of mind in the bathroom. With solutions for the whole home, many seniors can continue to stay safe at home while enjoying their regular lifestyles. Use this link to learn more about your home modification options.
Home Health Care
Even with a fully accessible home, some seniors may need additional help, such as personal care assistance or help with administering medications. If a neighbor or family member is not available to help, there are many home healthcare providers that offer these services for a reasonable fee. Use this link to find a home health care provider near you.
Need financial assistance? Consider Medicare PACE Programs and Medicaid HCBS Waivers, both designed to help seniors continue to live at home or in the homes of caregivers instead of moving to nursing homes.
Adult Foster Care
An Adult Foster Home typically houses several adults who need assistance with daily living activities, such as bathing and meal preparation. The benefit of an adult foster home over a nursing home is the size – most states limit the number of residents in an adult foster care facility to just six, compared to over a hundred residents in the average nursing home (source). Especially in the current climate of concern over disease transmission, the smaller facility size can be a major benefit for vulnerable populations.
Senior Living Communities
Many senior communities have popped up over the past few decades which rival the fanciest apartment complex in town. These communities typically consist of individual apartment units or townhomes where seniors over 65 can maintain a sense of independence. The communities include traditional amenities, such as a pool and fitness center, with additional optional amenities, such as housekeeping, group outings, and health services.
Choosing a Nursing Home Alternative
If you or a loved one is considering a nursing home, take the time to consider your alternatives first. Whether it be modifying an existing home for added safety and mobility or moving to a smaller group-living facility, there are a range of options that can provide additional care and peace of mind while avoiding the risks of coronavirus infection associated with traditional nursing homes.