Elderly adults who need regular monitoring and living assistance often move into nursing homes. Nursing homes are residential and rehabilitation centers that employ caregivers, nurses, therapists and other trained staff members. In addition to providing treatment for illnesses, injuries and other medical conditions, nursing homes are designed to satisfy residents' emotional and psychological needs as well. This means providing ample opportunities for socializing such as group activities and regular communal meals.
Nursing homes provide a wide range of specialized services for people with various health conditions. For example, many nursing homes include a floor or wing designated for people with Alzheimer's or dementia. Other specific services offered by nursing homes include treatment for cancer, cardiovascular disease and pulmonary disease. Nursing homes are ideal places for people who are recovering from strokes, traumatic injuries and other serious medical conditions. They also provide specialized services for people with permanent or developmental disabilities. Residents of nursing homes also have easy access to pharmaceutical services and equipment rentals.
There are more than 16,000 nursing homes in the United States. Federal law requires nursing homes to have a registered nurse on duty at all times. However, nursing homes are not cheap. Residents of nursing homes can expect to pay anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000 per month, depending on the types of care and monitoring they need. Many seniors can't afford to live in nursing homes without help from Medicare, Medicaid or another source of funding. Fortunately, nursing homes these days have top-notch rehabilitation facilities. Many nursing home residents are eventually able to move back to their own homes or live with family members.
Seniors who don't require around-the-clock monitoring can also consider checking into an assisted living community. Assisted living communities serve as a bridge between independent living and residing in a nursing home. Residents of assisted living communities usually have apartment-style rooms with access to group activities, healthcare assistance and three prepared meals each day. Nursing homes are better options for seniors who have serious health problems or require a greater degree of assistance to get by in their day-to-day lives.