Nursing Homes: What Living In One Is Actually Like

June 14, 2021

Very few people look forward to getting old. That’s because various health problems usually come up the older your get.

There are other reasons besides that, though.

If you live for a very long time, the chances are high that some of your friends and loved ones will die. You might have mental lapses as well as physical ones. You may also no longer be able to do some of the things you once enjoyed.

On the other hand, you’ll probably be able to retire and live a much more leisurely life. There’s a particular dignity that comes from being able to look back on a long life filled with meaningful deeds and adventures. One question remains for most people, though: should you try to continue living on your own, or is a nursing home a better option for you?

Let’s talk about what living in a nursing home is like, and whether it’s something that might appeal to you someday.

Health Risks of Living on Your Own

Moving to a nursing home makes a lot of sense if you have diminished capacity. For example, if you utilize a wheelchair, or you can’t move around without a cane or walker to help you, it’s hard to prepare your meals, and you probably don’t want to go up and down stairs anymore. It’s easy for you to fall if there is not someone there to steady you.

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If you’ve got a partner or spouse, they may be your age. They might not be in the best physical shape, either. If you’re in that situation, or you live alone, moving into a nursing home is probably the best option.

Of course, you have to make sure you move into one where the staff takes great care of you. You and your family should do some research beforehand. Make sure you select one that has excellent reviews and no pending lawsuits.

If you move into a poorly-reviewed nursing home or one where the staff is inattentive, that’s not going to do you much good. You might have to worry about bedsores if the staff members aren’t around to change your position. You also want to be sure they can help you take your medication, clothe you if you need help with that, and prepare meals for you.

You Can Make New Friends in a Nursing Home

Assuming you moved into a top-rated nursing home, the staff can help care for you, so your family does not need to worry so much. Ideally, you can move into a facility that’s not too far from where your family lives. That way, your adult children, grandchildren, and other relatives who live nearby can see you often to check on you.

Nursing homes are also ideal in many instances because you can make some new friends who are your age. If you’re an outgoing person, and your mind is still sound, you can socialize. You can make friends with whom you can watch movies, play board games, have poker nights, or anything else you like to do.

Your Nursing Home Should Have Exercise Facilities

If you’re a little spryer, you can exercise at your nursing home. They will probably have a weight room with exercise bikes and other equipment for those seniors who can still use it. They should have a pool for you to swim laps.

They might have a room with massage chairs, or they may have a masseuse on staff. That can feel wonderful, especially if you have arthritis or other aches and pains. They might even have some tennis courts, ping pong tables, foosball tables, and so forth.

Your Nursing Home Should Have Regular Excursions

You might also find a nursing home that has regular trips on which you can go if you’re feeling up to it. Maybe there’s a shuttle that takes you to malls so you can walk around and shop. They might have movie nights at a local theater.

If there are parks nearby for you to walk around, the nursing home staff might transport you there and back regularly. You don’t have to go, but it’s nice to have that option if you feel up to it.

You Might Kindle a New Relationship

You might even find love in a nursing home. Maybe you’re single again if a spouse died. It could be you’ve lived alone for a long time because you never thought you’d meet someone suitable.

Love is a funny thing, though, and you might meet someone even as an older adult. There’s no reason not to think you can experience love in your life’s later stages. Such things do happen.

Nursing Home Living Can Be a Pleasant Experience

All of this means that nursing home living can be a pleasurable experience if you give it a chance. Some seniors resist the idea, but think about the people you can meet, activities in which you can engage, and better overall living conditions versus staying on your own as your capacity lessens.

If you take this step, your family doesn’t have to worry about you anymore. Living on your own is commendable, but if your children have to fret because you might fall and be unable to get up on your own, that will make their lives hard. They definitely want what is best for you, and often, that’s a nursing home with a kind and dedicated staff.

Of course, some older adults can find other alternatives besides nursing homes. There are also assisted living facilities where more active seniors can stay. These don’t tend to cost as much, so if money is a factor, you might look into one instead.

Also, there’s a chance you might want to move in with your relatives. If they have the space and skill to care for you, that can be a solution.

Don’t discount nursing homes as a viable option, though. Many older adults find their time there to be highly enjoyable.


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