Moving into a nursing home is a monumental change in your life; you’ll have to adjust to new surroundings, new people, new routines, and new expenses. It’s easy to get sticker shock as soon as you begin comparing nursing facilities.
Unlike an assisted living senior community, a nursing home provides residents with the high level of medical care and help with daily living that more dependent seniors need. Whether it’s due to injury, illness or the effects of advanced age, nursing home residents are no longer able to care for themselves.
These services are where most of the high cost of nursing home living originates. Fortunately, Norfolk seniors pay a little less than the national average cost of care. Keep reading to learn about nursing home care in Norfolk, how much it can cost, what services nursing homes offer, what amenities you can look forward to enjoying, and how you might pay for the care that you need.
The average monthly cost of a private nursing home room in Norfolk is a little more than $7,000 per month on average, and a semi-private room will cost you appreciably less at $6,540 monthly.
Something less than 10% of seniors 85 years of age (and older) live in a nursing home residence, while female seniors make up over half of nursing home residents.
About 1.4 million people aged 65 years and older lived in a nursing home facility as of 2014.
Nearly 3% of the total population 65 years and older lives in a nursing home environment.
Nursing home rates across the United States are high as a rule. The specialized geriatric care services and registered nursing staff are expensive to maintain and is reflected in the monthly rent of a nursing home room.
Nationally, the median cost of care is roughly $7,400 per month for a private room. Norfolk seniors are looking at a state median cost of about $7,000 per month for a private room and approximately $6,500 for a semi-private arrangement.
While the average rates seem high, be aware that these figures are only averages; half of the nursing homes in Norfolk will charge less than that. Of course, for more luxurious choices, you’ll pay more (sometimes much more) than the average.
By deciding exactly what services, amenities, and medical services you need, you can make the most economical decision for your new nursing home residence.
You can look forward to a similar suite of senior care services in any nursing home in Norfolk. As state licensed facilities there are standards of care that must be met by every nursing facility.
There will be registered nurses on staff with special training in the care of geriatric patients. Nursing care will include:
Taking vital signs such as blood pressure, blood sugar levels, temperature, and body weight.
Cleaning and disinfecting chronic wounds and changing wound dressings.
Helping seniors adhere to their medication schedules and assisting in drug administration when it’s necessary.
Assisting seniors who need mobility devices like wheelchairs, walking frames, and crutches.
Ensuring that physician’s orders are followed and reporting changes in a patient’s condition to the appropriate doctor promptly.
Meals are provided in nursing homes. All meals are prepared by trained, professional food service staff and are designed to fulfill the nutritional requirements of the senior population.
Seniors suffering from metabolic disease, cardiac issues, intestinal disorders, or similar conditions that mean specific dietary recommendations must be followed will be accommodated with specialty meals.
Seniors who are living with memory disease will frequently be taken care of in a wing of the nursing home dedicated to their care. Rehabilitation services will often be provided. Seniors recuperating from various surgeries will be helped to achieve as much independence as possible.
Beyond the most basic services mandated by state requirements, there are many amenities and extra services that nursing homes may provide their residents.
It’s not unusual to find barber and beauty shops located on-site for the convenience of nursing home residents. On-site shopping can be found in some facilities as well.
Sometimes a nursing home will provide beautifully designed landscaping and gardens with easy paths so seniors don’t have to go far to enjoy the joys of outdoor activity.
There are nursing homes that have regularly scheduled entertainments such as:
Bands playing popular era music when the residents were young.
Fun games nights with bingo, cards, board games and similar diversions.
Holiday celebrations for Christmas, Halloween, etc.
You can find nursing homes that provide regularly scheduled excursions and day trips to local attractions so seniors always have an opportunity to enjoy a change of scenery.
Start by visiting the AARP website and using the handy checklist to familiarize yourself with many things you should look out for when you visit a prospective nursing home. Beyond that, there are some basic items you should check and ask about when you start comparing nursing homes.
Your first concern should be the friendliness and competence of the nursing home staff that you’ll rely on every day. If they are anything less than considerate, you may want to think twice before moving in.
Another important sign of a quality facility is cleanliness and maintenance; if the home is on the grotty side, you can bet that they’re slipshod with everything else.
Seniors who own homes can sell or rent their homes and use that money to defray much of the cost of care. Another possible solution is to take out a reverse mortgage and use that money to afford a quality nursing facility.
Find assisted living in Norfolk near you.