If your parents are in their seventies and eighties, they might be at that point where living at home is not a good option anymore. Arthritis, vulnerability, wandering, dementia, and Alzheimer's make this stage in life very difficult to provide care for your parents. If you are considering moving them into a nursing facility, there are many different levels of nursing care in nursing facilities available, and by learning more about the different types, you can determine where to place your elderly parents.
Assisted Living: Limited Care
An assisted living facility with limited care means that the people living in this facility are able to do most things on their own, but they need some help with medication, personal care, or cooking and cleaning. Staff come into the apartment to provide whatever services are most needed. The rest of the time, your parents are on their own and making their own plans, decisions, and participating in facility activities of their choosing.
Assisted Living: In-Depth Care
This is set up very much like the limited care assisted living facility, except that your parents would have all of their personal care, their medication, and their meals regulated. This is the ideal facility if your parents have rheumatoid arthritis, are wheelchair-bound, or are in the early stages of dementia. They are still able to move about their rooms/apartments and the facility if they are able, but the rest of their care is provided for by nursing staff.
Nursing homes may house long-term residents who are approaching end-of-life care or who have recently had major surgery and cannot go home. Most elderly patients who have hip surgery often go to a nursing home because they cannot use wheelchairs in their homes and cannot climb stairs until their hip heals. If these conditions apply to your parents or if your parents cannot afford other facilities and their Medicare will only cover a nursing home for care, then this may be the only option you have for your parents.
24-Hour Nursing Care Center
A 24-hour nursing care center is similar to a nursing home, except the living arrangements are more private, like an assisted living facility. Your parents receive around-the-clock care and, if needed, monitoring for wandering behaviors. The wards are locked to prevent patients from wandering out and away from the facility and to protect them against intruders, domestic terrorists, restricted family members, etc.