We know that choosing a nursing home in northern Illinois can be difficult, and in some ways it’s getting more so. That’s because there’s an increasing need for nursing homes and assisted living facilities, while the supply of them is often lagging. Unfortunately, this can lead to problems that diminish the nursing home quality of care that you should expect for yourself or a loved one.
So where did this need for additional nursing home facilities come from? And how is this increasing the problems we see regarding nursing home neglect and, in some cases, nursing home abuse? Let’s take a look at what has been changing over the past two decades, and why the need for nursing home advocates is greater than ever.
People Are Living Longer
In the last 100 years, the average life expectancy of the average American has increased by more than 20 years. While most people attribute this to improved medical care when people are old, there are actually many factors that help people reach their next birthday throughout their lives. These include improved nutrition, vaccines, sanitation, better care during childbirth, and fewer war deaths.
A hundred years ago, someone who had cancer at age 40 would simply die, and that meant that they’d never need any healthcare. But today, they can receive treatment and live for decades more. They might get diabetes, but advances in medicine mean that they continue living an active life. Modern medicine also means that they might survive multiple heart attacks, only to die of a stroke. The person from 100 years ago never lived long enough to need a nursing home, while a person living today could require one for a decade or more. On top of that, when people live longer, their need for care increases exponentially. A person who is 80 doesn’t need twice as much healthcare as they did when they were 40; they might need 10 times (or 100 times!) the amount of care. With people living longer and longer, it becomes obvious why there’s an increasing need for nursing homes.
Not only are people living longer, but there are more people who are living longer. If that sounds confusing, it can be summed up in three words…
The Baby Boomers
When military men and women returned from World War II, they settled down and started having families. Even people who didn’t go to war chose to put off having families until peace returned. The children of this post-WWII era are known as the Baby Boomers, and there are a lot of them! More than 76,000,000 Baby Boomers were born, and today they’re between the ages of 55 and 75. This means that the nursing home need for Baby Boomers is just beginning, and as nursing home facilities get more crowded there will be an increased need for nursing home advocates who are ensuring quality of care.
Are You Ready To Choose a Nursing Home?
You’re not imagining things; choosing a nursing home is tough, and it’s not going to get any easier until you have someone on your side like a nursing home advocate. Guardians of Care exists to help people find the best nursing homes for their loved ones and then works as their advocate when they are a resident, reducing the changes of nursing home abuse or neglect.
We look forward to hearing from you and helping you discover what to look for in a nursing home. Click here to contact us!