CW: Abuse & Neglect
Recently on my blog, I’ve been writing about how I don’t want to live in a nursing home. One of the most important reasons why living in a nursing home frightens me is because there is a possibility that my health could decline. Stories of abuse and neglect are too common in nursing homes. You may recall that I wrote about how a nursing home resident in Connecticut died after not receiving her medication.
The thought of not receiving my medications is scary. Medications help me live a more active life. I can function better every day. Gabapentin helps me get a restful night’s sleep because of my restless legs. I started taking Gabapentin when I was a teenager. When I first started taking it, I slept well for the first time in years. I wished a doctor had prescribed it years before.
Prozac helps me think clearer and not get as emotional over things. I never thought I’d need an antidepressant. However, it helped me get my life back. Because of Prozac, I can enjoy everyday life, and I am less emotional every day. Neither of these medications is a cure. However, not receiving these medications would significantly reduce my quality of life.
Living at home is also better for my physical health. My PCA lives with me and provides 24/7 care. I am not malnourished or dehydrated at home. I’m able to have food and drink whenever I want it. I can access the pantry and fridge whenever I’m hungry or need a drink. I do my own grocery shopping as well. I pick out food that I like, is nutritious, and know I’ll eat. One of my favorite things about living in my apartment is that I can order my favorite juice in bulk.
Having to live in a nursing home would have devastating effects on my mental health. I’d miss going out to restaurants, shops, and the movie theater. I’d even miss going to the grocery store. Most of all, I know I’d miss seeing my friends and family. I wouldn’t have the opportunity to plan to visit my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I wouldn’t be able to hang out with my friends and go out with them. I might only see my parents and sister a few times a month.
Living in the community is better for my overall health and well-being. It also saves the state of Massachusetts thousands of dollars a year. It’s much more expensive to live in a nursing home. Nursing home care costs an average of $7,756 per month for a semi-private room. The average monthly cost for a private room is $8,821. This adds up to $93,072 and $105,852 a year, respectively. If I lived in a nursing home with a private room for ten years, it would cost the state over a million dollars. We need to do more to keep disabled people in their own homes. They belong in their communities and deserve to live their lives to the fullest.
Parker, Tim. “The Median Cost of a Nursing Home.” The Balance, The Balance, 25 Oct. 2021, https://www.thebalance.com/average-cost-of-a-nursing-home-4177589.