Long Term Care Facility vs. Home Health Care Nursing By: Ronald L. Bowling English 125 J. Shackleford 11/02/2012 Abstract: The decision of whether or not to place an aging parent into a long-term care facility, or to try and to keep them in their own home or yours is one that many American families are facing each day. Factors in dealing with this decision are too numerous to count but we will address a few of them in the following paper, like the financial aspects, psychosocial, and meeting the overall needs of our ever aging parents.
Long-term care facilities are a traditional approach to caring for the elderly or chronically ill members of society. These facilities are set up in a couple of different ways to provide specialized care depending on a person’s need. The first point of our discussion is assisted living facilities. These are apartment type communities that specialize in assisting seniors who may have a problem accomplishing there normal activities of daily living. The assisted living facilities provide a non-skilled staff to assist with these needs.
The next type of long care facility is a skilled cared facility. These types of organizations are set up to provide long-term medical care to individuals who one cannot care for their own selves, and two require specialized medical care such as daily medicine administration or procedural care. Healthcare facilities such as these assist with, wound and dressing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, and diagnostic testing on regular basis to insure your loved ones safety and over all wellbeing.
Finally home health care by far the most affordable, physiologically beneficial, and socially beneficial form of care for our aging parents will be the third portion of our discussion. Home health care also referred to as domiciliary or social care is defined as medical or skilled care nursing provided in the patients home. It is important to note that home care is not skilled cared, and it functions much like an assisted care facility in the fact its goal is to provide assistance with the activities of daily living, such as laundry, shopping, and housekeeping.
Un-licensed personnel who are not in their scope of practice to provide medicine administration, wound management, or other therapies like physical, occupational, or respiratory often administer this type of care. Home health care functions much like a skilled cared facility in the fact that licensed personnel provide many of the same services just in the patient’s home. This is a difficult choice faced by many families each year, and is an increasing burden on our Medicare/Medicaid system and family finances.
It is estimated that the annual cost for providing care in long-term care facility is approximately $78,110. 00 dollars. (Geewax, M. 2012). The fact that many people are living longer today than they ever have in history is increasing the overall cost of caring for family members in this traditional environment, and making it nearly impossible for the United States and American families to keep up with rising cost. According to the current statistics provided by AARP, the average person will spend about 2. 44 years in a skilled nursing facility.
With these estimates, the cost of providing skilled nursing care for just one parent is at about $190,588. 00 dollars. Medicare covers about three percent of this cost in total or approximately $5700. 00 dollars split over just first one hundred days of the stay. Then with Medicaid, the general rule of thumb is all personal holdings such as savings, properties and retirement funds must be expended prior to applying for the program. The one exception to this rule is owning a property the parent can apply for Medicaid with the understanding that their home will be sold and the proceeds of the sale going to the state.
Additional cost are offset with social security, most facilities will allot forty dollars a month out a residents social security benefits then apply the remainder to the amount to the monthly bill. The remaining balance would then be the responsibility of the resident, resident’s family, or Medicaid if they qualify for these benefits. Unfortunately, in recent years the cost of providing these traditional services has grown to a point that the programs set in place to care for seniors and chronically ill patients has undergone umerous cuts. This calls into question are the standards of care that nursing facilities provide being cut to compensate for these changes in the rate paid. The alternative in providing care for a dependent family member is keeping them in their own home, or the home of a family member. In recent years there has been a move in market place to an idea that is much more cost effective to provide most of the same services that traditionally found in a long-term care facility in the home.
It is estimated that providing these services in the home are approximately $21,800. 00 a year. It is also important that these figures only cover the cost of providing skilled health care. These figures do not cover additional expenses occurred in the home such as the cost of room and board. In many instances, the idea of keeping family members in the home where their care, may be more closely supervised is becoming increasingly appealing. Many health care providers are recognizing this and providing more and more services available in the home.
In today’s market place anyone can find nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and respiratory therapy companies that will provide the same or better standards of care in the home, at a reduced cost than in a traditional nursing facility. In addition to healthcare cost families need to consider the psychosocial aspect of caring for their love ones. Whether choosing a long-term care facility or keeping your loved one in the home it is important to understand what issues you might face in dealing with the psychological needs of your loved one.
In many instances, there is a negative connotation to placing a loved one in “a home”. Many seniors often feel unloved or unimportant to their family when the topic of moving to nursing facility comes into play. American families are often overwhelmed with just keeping up with responsibilities of their daily lives. When people add in the time required to visit a loved one in a long-term care facility, it is a daunting task to schedule enough time to meet the psychological needs of a loved one. Depression often contributes to time needed for a family member to recover from an illness.
In many instances people who are otherwise are healthy will deteriorate over time when their psychological needs for family contact and interaction are not met. In an article written by Kidder, T. (1993) the author states, “That loved ones that are able to able to recover at home with their family, recover thirty percent quicker over counterparts in long-term care facilities”. With that being said, it is a huge commitment to keep a seriously ill parent or loved one at home. It often requires families to sacrifice time normally allotted for other activities to be spent providing care for their love one.
This leads us to the conclusion or rebuttal portion of our paper, there is definitely always going to be a place in society where long term care facilities are a necessity for American families. Unfortunately, often enough decreasing time to spend coupled with knowledge deficit related to caring for parents in the home will not allow for all seniors to, either one stay in their own home or two live with a member of the family. Let’s face it we are a go go society that is built on the notion that if you don’t finish first you finish last.
This mentality drive many of us to work long hours schedule multiple meetings at the same time and put our families on the back burner in order to be successful. The only solution for caring for our aging parents is to place them in a facility geared to care for their particular needs. That coupled with the fact we just do not have the knowledge or skill to care for them on our own drives us to this as the only solution acceptable. References: Creditor, M. (1993). Hazards of hospitalization of the elderly. Annals of Internal Medicine, 118, 219-223. Geewax, M.
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