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Why You Should Avoid Moving Elderly Loved Ones into a State Facility




Nobody is ever truly prepared to move a loved one into a care facility. Whether it’s an assisted living environment or a long-term care (LTC) facility, it’s not an easy move. It’s hard for older people to be forced into an unfamiliar living environment that doesn’t feel like home.

Although most people can get their care completely covered by moving into a state-run facility, it’s not the best choice. Ideally, your loved one will be happier in a private facility. Here’s why.

  1. State facilities don’t have the budget to create a thriving environment

Everyone deserves to live in a luxurious environment with homemade meals and plenty of love and care. That’s exactly what Anna Pittard thought when she created Cotton Grove Estate – an exceptional personal care home for seniors in Georgia.

It’s not hard to create a thriving environment. Luxury private care homes exist all around the United States. However, state-run facilities don’t have the budget to create this type of atmosphere. That’s where they fall short.

State-run facilities rely on government funds that don’t go nearly as far as they should. For example, budget priorities are functional rather than aesthetic, even though aesthetics play a huge role in a person’s ability to thrive in their environment.

State facilities tend to furnish rooms and common areas with drab furniture, drab upholstery, and residents are lucky if the wall décor is even slightly inspiring. Most of the time décor doesn’t even match.

Private facilities, on the other hand, hire interior decorators to create an environment that supports the residents in feeling good wherever they roam.

  1. State-run LTC facilities feel more like a hospital

Unless you’re moving your loved one into an assisted living facility, they’re probably going to be living in an environment that feels more like a hospital than a home.

Long-term care facilities generally have two residents per room and each bed is separated by a hospital curtain. While residents can have personal belongings, there’s no real privacy or room to decorate to any extent.

Although one lucky room resident gets a window view, they still have to stare at a curtain. Staring at a hospital room curtain can be depressing. The hospital environment is amplified by the fact that people come in and out all day long to check vitals and administer medication.

  1. State-run nursing homes are usually (and perpetually) understaffed

It’s unfortunate that any care facility would be understaffed, but it’s a common problem with state facilities. Being understaffed places a huge burden on staff. Even the best nurses and aides struggle to do their job and be there for their residents.

Often, staff members can barely finish their basic tasks distributing medications, getting residents fed, bathed, and changed. That leaves no time to connect, play a game of cards, or just talk with residents. Companionship is necessary, yet it’s not in the budget.

In a state facility, your loved one may miss out on these important things:

  • Companionship. Sometimes people just want someone to chat with about their life. Staff in a state facility don’t usually have time to chat for longer than it takes for them to perform their duties.
  • Eating meals with company. Many people prefer to eat their meals with other people and eating alone is a guaranteed path to depression. If it’s hard for someone to get out of bed, they’ll struggle to get to the dining room to eat with others.
  • Having their living space organized. State staff don’t have time to tidy up a resident’s room to keep it looking good. Things like aligning books on a bookshelf, standing greeting cards back up, and flipping the calendar to the current month often go ignored. Attention to these details can make all the difference in a patient’s wellbeing.

Choose private care whenever possible

Statistics show that people who move into nursing homes pass away within 6 months. Sometimes it’s because of an illness, but much of the time people lose interest in life because of their environment. They stop eating, drinking, and won’t participate in activities.

If you don’t have a choice, make sure you do thorough research before choosing a state facility. Visit potential facilities multiple times (unannounced) and do extensive research to get the full picture. This includes requesting each facility’s state inspection survey (Form 2567), which they are legally required to provide.

If you can put your loved one in a private facility, don’t hesitate. They’ll have a higher quality of life and that’s always worth the extra cost.

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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