No one wants to think about it, but if you live long enough, you’re going to need some form of long-term care. The aging process will inevitably sap our ability to live independently; medical conditions, accidents, the slow deterioration of our joint health, will all combine to make living in a nursing home facility a necessity.
This care does not come cheap.
The monthly cost of nursing home care approaches the level of a luxury home mortgage in many parts of the U.S., nursing home facilities in North Carolina are generally cheaper than the national average cost, though.
Continue reading to learn about what nursing home care in Durham can mean financially, what services you can expect, what you should look for in a Durham nursing home, and what perks nursing homes can offer residents.
A little more than 1.4 million seniors live in a nursing home facility as of 2014.
Almost 3% of the over 65 population live in a nursing home.
Almost 10% of seniors over age 85 reside in a nursing home, and women constitute close to two-thirds of nursing home residents.
The average monthly cost of a private nursing home room in Durham is a not entirely unreasonable at $7,908 on average while a semi-private room will only set you back about $6,935 per month.
What we can take away from this is that reaching a certain age will almost guarantee the need for nursing home care, and we all need to consider how we’re going to pay for the care we need to maintain a good quality of life into our senior years.
As we pointed out earlier, the cost of nursing home care in Durham is far from economically priced at $7,908 per month for a private room. Even though it is extraordinarily high compared to the average Durham mortgage, you’re paying for skilled medical care and access to critical medical services and facilities 24 hours a day and seven days per week.
Fortunately, the average cost of care means that half the nursing homes you look at will cost something less than that amount. Each nursing home will have its own special services, perks, and amenities. By choosing a nursing facility that offers only the services that you need with a minimum of “extras,” you can save a significant amount of money every year.
Nursing homes are distinct from assisted living senior communities in that the level of on-site medical care and support services are much higher in a nursing home.
The first and most important difference you’ll find in a nursing home (versus an assisted living community) is the presence of registered nurses on staff to perform a wide range of essential medical care services in support of the geriatric physicians that support the health of the nursing home residents.
Your nurse will keep track of your vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, and weight. The registered nurses will keep detailed records and report important changes in health to the appropriate doctor.
Nurses will take care of important health routines like:
Ensuring that medication schedules are adhered to.
Changing wound dressings as well as cleaning and disinfecting healing wounds.
Maintaining IVs and taking blood for testing.
Helping in rehabilitative services and the use of mobility devices.
Nursing home residents will enjoy a specially designed diet that is intended to keep older bodies as healthy as possible. Special meals will be prepared for diabetic seniors as well as those with heart disease.
Hospice care will almost always be available for seniors in the last months or weeks of life.
Each nursing home will offer certain perks or extras to distinguish themselves from other facilities.
Some nursing homes will offer fun classes and entertainment for resident seniors. Occasionally, a nursing home may offer special areas like game rooms, beautiful and cozy community areas, movie theaters, and even gorgeously landscaped gardens that will provide beautiful sights, scents, and sounds.
There are some things that you want to look out for when you start your search for the right nursing home.
Cleanliness is an accurate proxy for how seriously the nursing home management takes the health and comfort of their residents. A clean and orderly facility where everything is well-maintained is the sign of a conscientious management team and staff that take their responsibilities seriously.
Try to have one or two meals in the nursing home’s dining area. Food is an immensely important part of our lives, so you want to be sure that the dining facilities are satisfactory and the menu is to your liking. Visit the AARP website to find a handy checklist of questions to ask when you visit.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure that your new home is conveniently near family and friends who’ll want to visit you. Social contact and the pleasure of seeing your children and grandchildren will go far to maintain a good quality of life in your nursing home residence. Make sure that your choice is the best one for you and everyone who cares about you.
Paying for your nursing home stay is something you should plan ahead for. Long-term care insurance is a good way to finance your nursing facility stay; make sure that your payments are current and exactly what the policy will pay for.
VA benefits can also help pay for the cost of care, get in touch with the VA if you’re a U.S. vet and check if you qualify.
Low-income seniors with little other recourse can check with Medicaid and see how much aid they can receive for nursing home care; you can also learn about any other North Carolina or federal programs that can help you finance the cost of care in a quality nursing home.
Find assisted living in Durham near you.