According to a report published by the American Psychological Association, about 26 million Americans aged 65+ lived on their own in 2014.
This is a potentially big problem for the government. Since those people often don’t have proper care or assistance, they’re prone to various injuries. Given that it’s more complicated to apply prevention on senior citizens living alone, their treatments might eventually cost a lot.
On the other hand, retirees who don’t have social interactions on a daily level faster decline into dementia and depression.
Because of that, it’s recommended for older people to start living in a care home.
In this article, we’re going to cover five crucial things to consider when choosing such an institution.
Calculate your monthly budget
The data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that an average American retiree receives about $48,000 a year. This translates to $4,000 a month.
If we take a look at the average cost of a private room in nursing homes around the US, we can see that this amount of money doesn’t suffice for these accommodations.
Therefore, it’s necessary to think in advance when it comes to your care in retirement. For instance, some people increase significantly the amount of money they pay for their private pension. However, when the economy is in dire straits, it’s not easy to find a few hundred dollars more.
That’s why some senior citizens do part-time jobs when they retire. From online tutoring to dog walking, they’re able to cover the costs of their nursing home in case their retirement income doesn’t cover the entire sum.
Also, some retirees with health issues or disabilities can get subsidies from Medicaid for their nursing home care.
Inquire about facilities and amenities
It’s important to check out whether a care home offers all the facilities and amenities you might need.
For facilities, you may need a swimming pool, spa, or medical center, to adequately facilitate your life there. These are even more important for people who have specific medical conditions that require a special sort of care.
Amenities, on the other hand, are important to keep the quality of your life on a satisfactory level. For instance, some senior citizens might need special types of furniture due to their physical condition. Others might require special elevators or wheelchairs. It’s important to inquire about all these particular features when you’re negotiating with a live-in care company or home. Therefore, it’s clever to make a list of all the places and things you might need in such a home. Then you print out a copy for each and every care home you’ve taken into consideration. This method will help you visualize all the pros and cons of every institution in question.
Consider relocation for better conditions
We’ve already mentioned that the costs of nursing homes differ from state to state in the US.
While this factor should play a significant role in your decision-making process, it’s not the only feature.
For instance, if you’ve lived in a sunny state for decades, relocating to a humid or rainy area is a bad idea.
Also, if your children and their families live far away from you, you might want to move closer to them. Living within the driving distance from your grandchildren will bring more joy into your life.
Apart from that, do your homework and find out more about the infrastructure for older people in different areas. Florida is well-known as the most popular destination for retirees. However, states like New Hampshire and South Dakota are making fast progress in adapting their services to older people’s needs. You can read more about this topic in an article published by CNBC.
List the activities for different group ages
Not every nursing home offers the same activities. Even companies that specialize in providing detailed medical assistance to certain groups of people don’t cover the same number of services.
Therefore, it’s important to write down all the activities you want or need to do in your future nursing home. For example, some retirees want to play golf on a regular basis. Others don’t want to give up hiking when they retire.
When choosing a new home, look for one that gives you a chance to do as many things as possible.
Also, some nursing homes offer more to some age groups and less to others. For instance, if you’re 65 and a nursing home ensures activities for older retirees, it might not be the right choice for you.
Similarly, if you’re an outdoorsy person, narrow down your potential choices to the nursing homes surrounded by a green environment.
The more details and preferences you add to your list of priorities, the more likely you are to find a perfect home for your retirement.
Prepare for the move
When you’ve found the best nursing home for your needs, it’s time to prepare for the move.
Most nursing facilities have certain rules regarding accommodation and furniture. Hence, every retiree who is planning to become a resident of such an institution needs to get familiar with their regulations.
For instance, in some care homes, residents aren’t allowed to bring their own furniture, while others allow for some items.
Moreover, if you have any special requests based on your medical condition, such as special access to the bed, the management needs to meet those special demands.
Apart from that, the use of cooking devices, such as cookers or toasters, is forbidden in residents’ rooms in almost all nursing homes, due to safety reasons.
In a nutshell, you most probably won’t be able to bring larger items of furniture with you.
Today, many nursing homes provide their residents with TV-sets and radios, as well as the Internet connection.
Therefore, when you’re moving to a nursing home, you need to take your basic personal belongings and memorabilia.
Moving to a care home is a reasonable decision. Such facilities satisfy most of the social, emotional and organizational needs that senior citizens might have. If the alternative to living in a nursing facility is living alone, then becoming a resident of such an institution is a clever choice.
Before you start looking for the right care home for you, write down all the facilities and amenities you need, together with your lifestyle preferences. What’s important during the selection process is to thoroughly analyze dozens of nursing homes before your shortlist the most interesting ones.
When you’ve chosen the care home that offers the value you need for the money you have, you can start living the new spring of your life.