Misconceptions about elderly care/elderly home care
With the increase in elderly population as the years go by either from local or migrating retirement, many efforts have been established by many companies or agencies to cater to the needs of the elderly. One of these many efforts includes providing caregiving service or building more nursing homes for the elderly. However, majority of people in the society today have quite a few misconceptions in regards to caregiving services or nursing homes. This is usually due to rumours spread by friends, colleagues or social media in regards to certain companies or agencies that provided unsatisfactory service. Nevertheless, just because one bad apple spoils the whole barrel it does not necessarily mean all companies or agencies are one and the same. Clearing up these misunderstandings are important as some of the elderly population do have the desire to try out these services provided but are afraid to or not allowed to due to these misconceptions. Therefore, here is our take on breaking these skewed opinions on caregiving and nursing homes involved in elderly care.
- All types of elderly care are the same
There is a pretty big difference between caregiving (elderly care) and nursing homes (elderly home care). Caregiving services are when a company or agency dispatches a caregiver to your home to take care of your elderly either on a daily visit or live-in basis. Nursing homes are homes built for the comfort of the elderly’s stay there for a longer period of time with either a doctor or nurse on standby at the homes.
- Nursing homes are filled with only sick people
It is incorrect to assume that everyone in a nursing home is ill just because you probably saw a senior citizen walking in the home compound cough or anything. If anything, certain families send their elderly there to recover from their treated conditions and even hospitals collaborate to send discharged patients there. This is because either the families are busy with their daily lives to continuously monitor the recovery rate or hospital settings prefer a follow-up with a nurse or doctor around. Therefore, most of the elderly at nursing homes are recovering from their conditions or illnesses so technically their health is not declining but rather slowly regenerating.
- Nursing homes are the last stop before the funeral home for the elderly
As mentioned earlier, not everyone at the nursing homes are suffering from illnesses or conditions and are just waiting for their time. Most of them are usually still healthy and recovering and if one or two incidents were to occur whereby a senior citizen passes away in the nursing home it is usually unprecedented. The people working at the nursing homes are only human after all and are unable to predict the future for themselves or even the elderly at the home. Also, just food for thought, if the elderly are really so sick that it is life-threatening, why were they even sent to the nursing home by their loved ones instead of a hospital? If you are aware that your elderly loved one has a condition that is not treatable, it is not morally right to link that misconception to nursing homes being a bad thing.
- Caregiving services are only applicable for the rich
Although this might sound true to some people, many things nowadays are also increasing in price or cost due to government taxes, money fluctuations and other factors so nothing worth its quality is cheap anymore. However, this isn’t very true as you only pay the caregiver for their caregiving services whereas for nursing homes, you need to pay for their caregiving services as well as facility maintenance of the home. Another thing to consider is that caregiving services are carried out in the comfort of your loved one’s home and since most of the elderly population prefer to stay at their own homes, why not pay a little to ensure they are safe & happy?
- Bad moral impressions on society
Many people especially the older generation think that if their children or family sends them to a nursing home as the age, their family is immoral and shunned by anyone who hears about this. Heck, even some people manage to bring religion into such issues that initially had no concern with religion at all. However, with the need to earn more money to go through the increasing cost of living in this era, everyone is trying to do their best to earn more to ease their family burden. Most families eventually end up with the dilemma of the need to spend more time to earn more money or take care of their elderly without sending them off anywhere. This sort of backbiting is a double-edged sword because no matter which choice you make, everyone will always have something to say as long as they are not satisfied with you. If you feel the need to have a caregiver or send your elderly to a nursing home, the best thing to do is sit down with them and have a heart-to-heart conversation about this to make them understand. By the end of the day it is all about consent from both parties and as long as it is fine with everyone involved, those who are not involved that mind won’t matter.
- Lack of privacy or independence
Many of the elderly are usually concerned with this matter as most of them usually have hobbies or activities they like to do on a daily or weekly basis. Just like how we do not like people snooping around or constantly observing as we carry out our daily lives, the thought of that as well as the fear of being constrained by the caregivers makes the elderly uncomfortable as well. In contrast to that impression though, most caregivers will only assist in ensuring your loved one can carry out their daily activities smoothly and not interfere with their habits or daily needs. Besides that, nursing homes may also provide a sense of independence that your elderly never experienced before as their families are not always around to assist them like they used to back home.
- Care workers lack skill or training
Contrary to the headline mentioned above, many of the caregivers are qualified and given training before being assigned to your loved one’s side to aid them. Nurses especially require qualifications such as examinations and on average 75 to 100 hours of training before becoming a licensed nurse. Another perspective that can be taken into account is that if you wish to have specific certain needs when taking care of your elderly e.g. use of specific soap when bathing or low salt meals prepared, the care worker should be notified beforehand. It is not to say that the care worker sent to your home is inexperienced but they might have different experiences taking care of people. By the end of the day, the care workers are human and just want to do their job well to earn for a living so it is important that there is a sense of cooperation between the family and the care worker.