Putting Elderly Parents in Nursing Homes
Putting Elderly Parents in Nursing Homes
Nursing homes for the elderly people have become a major concern the modern society. Developed and developing countries are witnessing increasing aging rates, forcing governments and households to rely upon nursing homes. The main reason as to why many families prefer placing their elderly relatives in nursing homes is attributed to busy work schedules. Many families are under pressure to spend more time at work and raise additional income. This limits the amount of time family members spend with each other, especially with the elderly who remain at home. Challenges arising from balancing work and family have forced many households to send their elderly relatives to nursing homes. However, there are people who are strongly opposed to this alternative. They argue that placing higher priority to professional and career development to familial obligations is completely unethical. Putting elderly parents in nursing homes should be the last available alternative to be adopted under certain justifiable conditions.
Proponents state that their relatives will receive better care from professionals working in the nursing homes. They argue that their busy schedules prevent them from devoting themselves to their elderly parents. Conversely, opponents argue that it is unethical to place more priority on work than familial ties. They state that elderly parents being taken to nursing homes spent the youthful part of their lives taking care of the very same people who allocate most of their time working instead of caring for them. In addition, opponents argue that many of the elderly regard nursing homes as a one-stop place before dying. To a certain point, there is truth to this ideology because many people will spend the rest of their lives in the nursing homes. Even though the elderly would receive full time care in nursing homes, socializing with strangers cannot be compared to staying at home with family members. According to EPOCH Eldercare, elderly in most nursing homes experience loneliness, loss and grief that cause psychological problems (“Intellectual Companionship”).
Most proponents argue that a nursing home is a cheaper alternative. According to them, the cost they would incur in employing a nurse is much greater than the amount of money they would spend on a nursing home. On the other hand, opponents argue that there are cheaper alternatives to hiring nurses and placing the elderly in the nursing homes. With speeding technological innovations, assistive technologies have been developed, and can be incorporated in smart homes. Self-learning ICT components are able to identify abnormal and critical conditions of an elderly person, and automatically send notifications to other family members (Eizmendi, Azkoitia and Craddock 174). Families, which opt for nursing homes, will have to make monthly payments for the services offered to their relatives. Opponents argue that the cost associated with assistive technology is minimal because households will only spend on purchasing the equipments. Furthermore, the government would save billions of dollars it spends on building nursing homes, training and hiring staff. In 2009, the government and households in the United States spent more than $178 billion on nursing homes (Bernstein 1).
From the above arguments, it is very clear that placing the elderly in nursing homes is unnecessary in most instances. Newer assistive technologies have been developed to enable elderly people take care of themselves without depending on others. Furthermore, living with elderly parents at home strengthens familial ties and eliminates psychological problems associated with nursing homes. However, this does not mean that nursing homes are entire inappropriate. There are instances where by this alternative would be permissible. For instance, when the elderly have no living relative, nursing homes might provide them with better care services. Putting elderly parents in nursing homes should be avoided by families. It should be the last available alternative to be adopted under certain justifiable conditions.
“Intellectual Companionship.” EPOCH Eldercare. EPOCH Eldercare, n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2013.
Bernstein, Nina. “With Medicaid, Long-Term Care of Elderly Looms as a Rising Cost.” NYTimes. New York Times, 06 Sept. 2012. Web. 07 Oct. 2013.
Eizmendi, Gorka, José M. Azkoitia, and Ger M. Craddock. Challenges for Assistive Technology: Aaate 07. Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2007. Print.
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