Heading off the Dreaded Nursing Home Nightmare

When you are looking down the road to retirement, the images that spring to mind can vary from the pleasant and fun to those of fear of the unknown. The image we get from the front cover of AARP magazine is one we want to envision for ourselves for our golden years. That idea of retiring in luxury to a life of golf, maybe roving the country in an RV or pretty much living on cruise ships is fun to look forward to and let it bring a smile to your face even if retirement is a ways off.

But many people in those years leading up to retirement also have to be of assistance to aging parents and you see the realistic side of the golden years as well. So that changes how you think about retirement and how to prepare for it. On the darker side of thinking ahead to retirement and the years of decline, there is one dread that outweighs all the others pretty much universally. That is the dread of ever having to go to a nursing home.

The concept of the horror of a nursing home has not been helped in our modern times by stories of nursing home abuse and horrible experiences older people have in those institutions. So the idea that we all might end up in such a place can be quite terrifying and create a lot of anxiety about ever retiring and letting someone take over your care that might put you in a nursing home.

Many of the terrors of nursing home life are the result of myth and stories and the media who love to portray nursing homes as torture chambers, But if the fear of a nursing home gets you in the mode to prepare for retirement and start doing your research well in advance, then that is a good fear because it is mobilizing you for doing something good for you and your family.

The good news is that a lot has changed maybe even since you had to deal with nursing homes when your own parents were aging. There are a lot of new formats for where an elderly person might go live once continuing to live alone in their house stops being an option. It is no doubt the surge of elderly people into the system caused by the graying of the baby boomer generation that has fueled a revolution in elderly car. Now there are all kinds of levels of care and the kinds of places you can look forward to spending your golden years in may resemble an apartment complex or resort more than a nursing home.

You can do a lot to reduce your anxiety about retirement by starting now and going to visit some of these retirement apartment complexes, assisted living centers and senior centers. You will be pleasantly surprised at how nice and comfortable the options are out there that you can look forward to taking advantage of in your retirement years.

But there is another important change in how you view retirement that looking into alternatives to nursing homes will bring about as well. That is the area of planning to finance these kinds of retirement options. There are many forms of retirement insurance and you may already have started paying on a policy that would provide care for you in a nursing home or a place where medical care was available in the event you had a medical decline in your golden years.

By getting a good idea what kind of facility you might prefer once it is no longer feasible or desirable for you to keep a full house going, you can anticipate preparing for that move financially as well. You can check on your insurance and if the funding you have set aside for retirement will not help out with assisted living centers, make those changes now so that insurance can accumulate value for you.

The administrators at assisted living centers can help you prepare for your move to their facility. They will be thrilled to meet someone thinking that far in advance about your future needs and because these folks are in the business of helping people like you and I move comfortably into retirement, they can help you know about programs, financing and other ways you can prepare so you are fully ready to go to a wonderful future.