The Answer: Aging in Place
Thanks to a movement called "aging in place," more nursing home programs now provide services and amenities that cater to the aging individual and enable him to remain in one place, with increased adaptations, until the end of his life. The success of the aging in place movement means that one big move into a nursing home program can now be his very last. This new "home" will be the place where he receives great care in a familiar, personal environment for the rest of his days.
The advent of the assisted living movement in the early '90s sparked America's first conversations about aging in place. Since then, the idea of aging in place is commonly applied to all types of senior care. Some seniors who have the funds prefer to remain in their own homes, aging in place with the assistance of in-home health care providers and family members. Others seek care in continuing care retirement communities from a younger age, and still others begin at more advanced stages and start their aging in place within a well-equipped nursing home program.
Aging in Place Within Nursing Home Programs
If your aging loved one is frail, unstable, ill or otherwise in need of significant daily assistance, you'll likely find that a skilled nursing home program will best meet her needs. When this is the case, you don't need to look into assisted living facilities or other lower-level senior care options. Instead, you can focus your search on qualified nursing home programs that offer end-of-life assistance such as on-site hospice or palliative care, on-call physicians and health specialists.
Because of strict nursing home regulations, adaptations common to the aging in place movement will likely be in place in any quality nursing home program you find. These include things like emergency call buttons, ramps, wider doorways, showers with seats, handle-bar door knobs, and high speed cable. These simple conveniences can significantly limit the chances that your loved one will be carted around from hospital to rehab center to nursing home at an already difficult time of life.
If aging in place is important to you, the single most important quality to look for in a nursing home program is a thriving hospice program. Hospice care provides pain management and other physical and emotional help so that when your loved one's time comes, she may depart in familiar personal surroundings, providing a sense of continuity and strength to the very end.
Aging in Place at Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) are large, multi-faceted facilities that offer multiple levels of senior care in a single location. If your loved one is still fairly active and can function mostly independently, you might consider looking into a CCRC so your loved one can experience aging in place in the truest sense. Inside most CCRCs, you'll find an active living community, assisted living facility and nursing home program with hospice care.
The number of amenities and services available at these communities ensures that your loved one won't have to move more than the distance of a floor, wing or building for the rest of his life. And he'll get to enjoy the same environment, staff, food and amenities the whole time. To find continuing care retirement communities in your area, just select "continuing care" in the elder care search box at the top right of this page. You'll be directed to our sister site, SeniorHomes.com, and their comprehensive list of continuing care retirement communities.
Find a Nursing Home Program Today
Aging in place might be the solution to your concerns about your loved one's future, regardless of her current level of need. To get personalized help finding a nursing home program or continuing care retirement community that follows the aging in place movement near you, feel free to call the toll-free number at the top right of this page. Our trained elder care advisors are standing by to help you, free of charge.
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Inside Nursing Homes
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- The Daily Schedule: Real Life at Nursing Homes
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