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Does My Mom Need Personal Care or a Nursing Home

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A nurse checking in on a nursing home resident.

For numerous families, considering the future care requirements of their aging parents involves researching possibilities such as personal care or nursing homes. 

The distinction between personal care and nursing homes lies in various aspects, including the level of medical care provided, the degree of independence allowed to residents, the types of services and experiences offered, and the overall living environment.

Deciding whether your mom would benefit more from one option over the other hinges on various factors. Having a conversation with your mom to determine the best living option that meets her needs and makes sure she’s well looked after is important. Landmark Crossing at Southgate is here to help you find the most appropriate solution for your loved one.

Differences Between Personal Care & Nursing Homes

Understanding the difference between personal care and nursing homes is important when considering care options for your loved one. 

Personal Care

A nurse giving medication to one of the residents of a nursing home.

Personal care communities are designed to support residents with activities of daily living (ADLs), offering a level of independence with the availability of help when needed. These communities encourage autonomy while assisting with tasks such as bathing, dressing, and medication management. Residents typically live in their rooms or apartments, and the environment is geared towards cultivating social connections and engaging in various activities.

Nursing Homes

On the other hand, nursing homes provide 24-hour medical monitoring and care for individuals with more serious health conditions that require constant supervision. They offer higher medical care, including wound care, IV therapy, physical therapy, and chronic disease management. Nursing home residents often share rooms, and the setting is more medical than residential, aimed at managing health conditions rather than promoting independence.

How to Choose

The choice between personal care and a nursing home depends on the individual’s health status, level of independence, and specific care needs. Personal care may be suitable for those who need some assistance with daily activities but still wish to maintain a level of independence. Nursing homes are better suited for individuals requiring comprehensive medical care and supervision.

Both types of communities prioritize their residents’ safety, health, and well-being, offering different levels of care tailored to meet the diverse needs of older adults. Making an informed decision involves understanding these distinctions and assessing your loved one’s needs.

Indicators That Personal Care May Be Right for Your Mom

When tasks such as showering, getting dressed, or maintaining personal hygiene become challenging for your mom, it strongly indicates that a supportive environment of a personal care community could be beneficial.

If you’ve observed potential dangers in your mom’s living space, like loose carpeting, cluttered walkways, or spoiled food, or if she has experienced falls or is frequently bruised, a personal care setting can offer a more secure living space with safety features including emergency response systems and regular health monitoring.

Should your mom show signs of loneliness or limited social engagement, transitioning to a personal care community might provide her with valuable social connections and activities for engagement.

Indicators That a Nursing Home May Be Right for Your Mom 

If your mom requires continuous medical care or supervision that goes beyond basic assistance—such as regular monitoring for a chronic condition, specialized treatments, or rehabilitation services—a nursing home may provide the comprehensive healthcare she needs. Nursing homes may also be a good idea if there are signs of significant cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia present.

Additionally, difficulty with moving around independently, whether due to a fall, surgery recovery, or conditions like arthritis, can indicate the need for the level of care found in nursing homes. 

Eligibility Requirements for a Nursing Home

Eligibility for nursing care is based on several key factors. The need for nursing care is often misunderstood, with many assuming it’s only for older adults or those with chronic conditions. However, consider someone who has had major surgery and needs help with wound care, physical therapy, and medication management outside the hospital. Skilled nursing care is important in such cases.

Likewise, a person recovering from a stroke might require help with daily tasks and specialized therapy to regain speech or mobility. Skilled nursing care is crucial here, too.

For anyone facing a serious illness, injury recovery, or post-surgery requiring more in-depth care than basic support, skilled nursing care is likely the best choice. It offers personalized care during critical times.

Selecting the Appropriate Care Option for Your Mom

The decision to opt for personal care or a nursing home for your mom should be based on her unique health needs, cognitive condition, and level of self-sufficiency. Understanding the key differences between these care environments and recognizing the specific signs that point towards each option will enable you to make a choice that supports your mom’s happiness and health as she ages.

Remember, navigating this crucial decision doesn’t have to be a journey you take alone—Landmark Crossing at Southgate is here to assist you in finding the perfect living situation for your mom. We welcome you to come and explore our community with a tour, allowing you to see the experiences and support services we offer first-hand.

Written by Angela Clark

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