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There’s no doubt Australians are living longer, and quality of senior life is of course a paramount issue. As you age, there is often the need to move into assisted living, be it a nursing home, retirement village or a retirement community. Nursing homes in particular have received some criticism in recent years, and it is worth being aware of both pros and possible shortcomings, to help work out if a nursing home is your best option.

Nursing homes in essence will provide you with either a single or shared room. Meals are provided, and you will generally have access to facilities such as lounges and barbecue areas (these may vary considerably from one nursing home to the next). Nursing homes may provide 24-hour medical care, and as such are a good option for those with higher care needs. Dementia patients or those with who require physical care may benefit from moving to a nursing home.

In terms of negatives, some may find it hard to adjust to the loss of personal freedom and privacy, especially when looking at a shared room environment. The standard of food and service may vary considerably from one provider to the next. It’s also essential to be aware of the full cost of nursing homes as an up-front cost, and ongoing fees, are standard in many cases. If moving to a nursing home, you may need to divulge financial information such as your property and asset worth.

It’s vital, when moving to a nursing home, that you fully investigate all options. If you are relatively active and healthy, you might prefer to look at a retirement village, which may afford more independence. Alternatively, there are supported living communities, such as Fairways Supported Living, that combine higher care assistance with a level of independence. Wherever you decide, it’s essential that you have adequate care and support to help live your senior years to the fullest.