Cruise or Nursing Home – You Decide

Social media is great for spreading humorous articles of all kinds, but there is a danger that some folks may take what is intended as humor and digest it as fact. A recent Facebook post by a fellow from Oklahoma was actually picked up by several news stations including at least one overseas. In it he details why it would be cheaper to live out his final years at a Holiday Inn rather than a nursing home. I’m sure that you may have also seen, at least once, a similar comparison to a cruise ship.

Can we dispense once and for all with the silly notion that living on a cruise ship or at the Holiday Inn is a viable alternative to being in a nursing home? While the premise might make for an amusing Facebook post, in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

Granted, if you are in general good health, have no mobility issues and the money to be able to indulge yourself, taking a never ending cruise might be a good idea.

But good health, good mobility and unlimited financial resources hardly characterize the typical nursing home (or even assisted living) resident.

Nursing homes today serve two primary purposes. Either they are short term rehabilitation centers providing intensive nursing and rehab services or they are providing end of life care to frail elders with serious health needs who have little or no ability to care for themselves. Unlike the cruise ship or the Holiday Inn, these centers, by their very nature, are staffed around the clock with nurses. The patient can summon a nurse or certified nursing assistant using the emergency call bell 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days a year. This expensive amenity is not available at the Holiday Inn.

What would happen on the cruise or at the hotel if you run out of money? You would certainly be asked to disembark, perhaps far from home. Nursing homes are serving as the de facto financial safety net for our nation’s poor elderly. Seven of every 10 nursing home patients are paid for by a State or Federal insurance program usually Medicaid or Medicare. I would love to see the cruise that takes government payment at about 70% of the cost of the service.

Nursing homes are staffed with hard-working, dedicated employees of all disciplines whose sole mission is ensure high quality care. They are not there for your amusement or to make sure that you are simply having a good day.

It might be nice to imagine a never ending cruise but if you need to be reminded to take your medication, can’t go to the bathroom by yourself, are recovering from a severe illness, or can’t get out of bed by yourself – you don’t want to be stuck in the middle of the ocean.

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Comments on "Cruise or Nursing Home – You Decide"

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Sheldon Ornstein - Friday, March 08, 2019

See above my messageSheldon Ornstein

Sheldon Ornstein - Friday, March 08, 2019

Hi Mr Mc GinleyYour right on with your article regarding Cruise or Nursing Home You Decide Dr. Ornstein

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