Myths About Nursing Homes

DLS41Contrary to misconception, a nursing home is different from a hospital. It is more of an out-patient facility where continuous nursing care is given. There are a lot of myths about nursing homes and why it has seen an increase not just in the US, but in other countries as well. But let us take a closer look at how these myths help establish these nursing homes even further despite its unfounded misconceptions.

If Nobody Will, Maybe a Nursing Home Can
There are so many ways to help your old folks for them to get by with old age. You might want to go with them shopping or walking the dog. But if you want an extensive monitoring of your folks more than you can actually give, a nursing home is a viable and humane option.

Distant Families
Perhaps one of the lingering questions why people would criticize families for sending their old folks to nursing homes is that the family no longer care about them. That is not true. When their children are already having families of their own, these folks should not be left alone. Sending them to a home is a far better option than leaving them behind.

They Don’t Fit In
Other people don’t go for nursing homes because they are not properly managed. This is an old notion already. More and more nursing homes boast of having modern facilities in it, and that most of their staff are trained and skillful. They are affordable, too, and you can be assured that your folks are in good shape.

They Can Check Out Anytime, But They Can’t Leave
Your folks can still go home after spending some time inside that nursing home. This is another myth that should be buried a long time ago. Going home still should be the final resting place for a cured patient.

Types of Nursing Homes  

Nursing Home Word Cloud ConceptWhen you hear the term “nursing homes” you will automatically think a place where old people are being taken care of. While that is true to some extent, a nursing home is a place for people to be cared for outside of the hospital. Nursing homes also provide a high level of medical care.

The term “nursing homes” nowadays are often replaced with a name that is descriptive of the type of service that is offered. Example of this is “convalescent care center” or “rehabilitation center”. This means that nursing homes are not only for patients that require care for the rest of their lives, nursing homes also address medical care that are often specific and temporary.

True nursing homes have two types: intermediate care facilities and skilled nursing facilities. Intermediate care facilities do not have nurses but instead have certified nursing assistants (CNAs) on staff 24 hours a day. These facilities also provide primary assistance such as bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, toileting, and more. Skilled nursing facilities on the other hand have either a registered nurse (RNs) or licensed nurses (LPNs or LVNs) on staff 24 hours. These facilities are for patients that require ongoing medical care in addition to assistance with daily activities, medical care such as physical therapy, wound care, respiratory therapy, pain management, and more.

A patient can actually be in both skilled nursing facilities and intermediate care facilities. In most cases, a patient can be in a skilled nursing facility after a hospital stay and then eventually move to an intermediate nursing facility when there is no longer a need for medical care but the patient’s capacity to live independently has diminished.

Many nursing homes offer both skilled nursing and intermediate care. That is great for patients that will require both as they will receive continuity of care with many of the same staff members.

Discerning Nursing Homes

The United States has about 19, 000 nursing homes, and more than 1.5 million of Americans live in them. Most of the homes are owned privately, and others are operated by the government. Some are also operated by profit-driven corporations. Others are sponsored by religious and civic organizations. Different states have laws regulating the operation of nursing homes, and even require them to get license. In order to ensure they follow the law, periodical inspections are conducted.

Three types of nursing homes exist today: skilled, intermediate, and supervised. Each kind offers a particular care for certain groups of patients. In selecting a type of nursing home, there are two main things to include in the decision-making process:

nursing homeQuality Care
An admirable nursing home is it matches both the medical and psychological needs of their patients with their existing resources.

For instance, not all elderly individuals require the same medical care. A study shows that a lot of relatively healthy people live in nursing homes that have excellent medical facilities. While other patients who need more medical attention live in inadequate medical facilities.

Psychologically Fulfillment
Most elderly people who live in nursing homes are still productive. Some institutions provide activities for such residents. A good nursing home encourages their residents to have hobbies and to participate in various activities and services involving them in the community.

Emotional Impact
Most families agree to put their elderly loved one in nursing homes as a last resort. Sometimes, they do so when the person’s health conditions grow too severe and the family finds it difficult to take care and keep the relative at home. For other old people, who decide for themselves to stay at nursing homes, they regard it as a final step before death.

What Are the Recommended Activities for Older People Living in the Nursing Homes?

Most elderly people who live in nursing homes still have the chance to develop their quality of life by means of joining some exciting physical and mental activities. These activities will help them in maintaining their self-confidence and self-worth.

Providing daily or weekly activities for the elderly is a biggest challenge to all nursing home staff. They have to link the activity to the personality of their residents. However, encouraging depressed senior citizens or those with low self-esteem to join the activities is the hardest part.

Nursing home staff should conduct a therapeutic activity so that the elderly people can benefit from it. In this article, we will give you the list of the recommended activities for older people living in nursing homes.

nursing homesCounselling
Talking to the elder residents one by one is recommended. Nursing home staff should assess their residents about their physical and emotional status. This activity is helpful since you will know what activities they want. Senior citizens living in nursing homes have a very low self-worth since they think they are already forgotten by their loved ones. Simply talking to them will help them develop their confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.

Early Morning Group Exercise
Early group exercise is the best morning activity for senior citizens. It includes stretching, mild bouncing and kicking. Exercise provides better mental stimulation and physical activity to the elder residents. It also prevents them from having heart and lung problems. Nursing home staff can also utilize gaming consoles such as xbox Kinect or Wii as an exercise tool for people who are in wheel-chairs.

Art activities
Painting is known to be the best mental activity. It helps elderly people think actively. By doing this activity, senior residents are prevented from other mental disorder such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Painting can also relieve series of arthritis attack.

Agricultural activities
Older people are known to be good at this activity. They like to grow plants, trees, flowers in pots. Although some of the residents can no longer do this activity due to sickness. This activity promotes better mental stimulation and muscle activity.

Music Therapy
Music has the capability to uplift the mood and spirit of every person. Nursing homes should include this in their daily activity since it promotes mood relaxation. Residents can also sing and play music together since it promote bond and comfort to one another.

Activities in Nursing Homes

nursing homeSupplying nursing home residents with stimulating and engaging activities is an integral part of enhancing their quality of life. Managing directors, nurses, and therapists need suggestions for various kinds of activities which will satisfy the various needs of those within their care. Activities aren’t all bingo and watching television. Actually, activity programs can be very creative which stimulates the resident’s mind. And also the health and well-being advantages of a great program are becoming a lot more important.

The greatest challenge for just about any activity coordinator is matching the best activity to every resident’s physical and cognitive abilities. Leisure practitioners should also work carefully using their nursing staff to select an activity that will be most advantageous for the needs of every individual resident. Activities can be achieved individually or perhaps in groups if your particular activity is appropriate for the residents.

The following activities can be included in the existing activities in a nursing home facility. 

Exercises: This may include gentle calisthenics which are modified towards the residents’ physical abilities. Bouncing, throwing and kicking beach balls offer physical activity and mental stimulation. For instance, wheel chair-bound residents may still manage to use their arms to simulate actions like moving a bowling ball or swinging a baseball softball bat.

Gardening: This activity is seeing revival in recognition. Some residents might enjoy growing herbal plants inside a window garden or planting flowers in containers. Given that many residents cannot do it on their own, so staff must be able to assist them.

Games and Handcrafts

Simple games that are suitable to their physical ability and age can have a positive effect on the residents’ health. Indoor games specifically board games are healthy past times and great mental stimulants. Handcrafting can also be included in the set of activities to be offered to the residents.

Threats of Understaffed Nursing Homes

nursinghomeMany nursing home facilities are extremely understaffed that they might be endangering the welfare of the patients; this is according to a report by federal health authorities. The report suggests more stringent recommendations that will require thousands of nursing facilities to employ more nurses and nurses’ aides.

According to several studies, under-staffing in nursing homes has led to many issues in patient’s condition like severe bedsores, abnormal weight loss, and malnutrition. It is, of course, hard to maintain the welfare of the seniors if a facility lacks manpower. It has been reported that a huge amount of patients have developed life-threatening infections that could have been avoided if there is proper staffing. 

The US government has already made several vital steps to resolve the issue. It suggests new federal standards to ensure that patients receive no less than two hours of care every day from nursing aides, amongst other things, there must be sufficient amount of nurses and other health professional within the facility. The research states that 54 % of nursing facilities presently fall underneath the suggested minimum standard. This is very threatening, given that it may endanger the life of the senior.

Studies suggest that patients receive only a minimum of 12 minutes each day of care from nurses. Presently, 31 percent of nursing facilities don’t meet that standard amount of nurses. Though the government has intentions in resolving the problem, it is still impossible for the government to propose minimum staffing recommendations since they were supplying insufficient subsidies under Medicare insurance and State Medicaid programs. Many senior care authorities explained that it is also hard to attract and retain good employees because of the status of the economy. Making the job appealing for nurses and developing a program will increase the quality of healthcare service that our seniors will receive in a nursing home. 

What is a Nursing Home?

nursing homeFor those who have a family member who needs a special medical care or treatment, you may already know the term nursing home. A nursing home is usually a destination for individuals who don’t really need to stay in a hospital but cannot be treated at home. The majority of nursing homes include nursing aides and skilled healthcare professionals accessible round the clock.

Several nursing homes are set up just like a hospital. Employees deliver health care, along with speech, physical and occupational therapy. There is usually a nurses’ station on every floor. Additional nursing homes act similar to a home. They attempt to have a neighborhood feel. Usually, they do not have a fixed day-to-day schedule, and kitchens may be available to residents. Personnel should build connections with residents.

A few nursing homes have particular care units for those who have really serious memory problems such as Alzheimer’s disease. Many will let couples live with each other. Nursing homes are not only seen for the elderly, but for any individual who requires 24-hour care.

Nursing homes supply nursing care and similar services to those who need nursing, healthcare, treatment or any other special services. These services are licensed by the state and may even be certified to participate in the Medicaid and/or Medicare programs. Certain nursing facilities may also satisfy particular requirements for dementia care.

The most important part of a nursing home other than the quality of the health care services is the feeling of security and belonging. These people don’t need to feel being in a hospital but rather in a home where they can feel the presence of a family.

Things to Know in a Nursing Home Care

There are many nursing home facilities in the country today. If you are considering a nursing home for yourself or for a family member, there are a few things you need to consider. Before admittance, you need to inquire with the management to determine the services they offer and the facilities available. There are different services a nursing home provides. It depends on the location or focus of the facility. The usual services include room and board, medication and monitoring, and emergency care as well as social and recreational activities. Personal care is also included like bathing, dressing, and toileting assistance.

nursing homeChoosing the best nursing home needs time to work. You may begin the quest for an appropriate nursing home well prior to seeking admittance to the facility. Preparing in advance may lead you to a more suited nursing home for you. Ask your family for their opinion as well as the care providers on what services you’ll need. Make time to consider what services you need before calling different nursing homes. You may also consider the daily assistance you need like bathing, eating, dressing etc.

Before arranging a stay to a nursing home, ask about openings, admission requirements, level of care provided and participation in government-funded health insurance options. It is also necessary that the nursing home  has the right facilities in case of emergency. To know whether the nursing home suits your needs, you must see it for yourself. Ask the management about their services and look around. You can l interview some patients to know about the quality of the services they received from the nursing home facility.

Nursing Home Problem

There are many issues regarding the quality of services offered by nursing homes. There are complaints from family members that say their elderly was mistreated or abused by nursing home employees. To get proper care for your beloved, you need to understand how the nursing home system works and how to fix or avoid these problems.

nursing homeIf you have an idea that there is something wrong with their services, it’s best to talk about it with the nursing home employees. Friendly, open approach with the medical staff, nursing staff, the manager and other employees will help prevent issues from becoming serious. When an issue continues, however, chances are that other family members and citizens are also affected.

Communication among family members is so important. The regulatory managing authority of nursing homes allows family members to talk with their elderly member in their own private area. You need to consult your loved one regarding the treatment he or she received within the facility. If you find some issues that you can resolve on your own, you can discuss it with the management. But if it is not possible, you can encourage a consultation with the management, employees and the residents as well as their family members to discuss the issues and how to deal with it. It shouldn’t get into a blaming confrontation. It should be in a democratic and professional way. You are there to resolve issues, not make them worse.

Nursing homes, ideally, should be a comfortable place where residents receive the care they need. They must be their extended home where they get the right treatment and reverence. It is the responsibility of the management to provide proper training and education to their employees, to upgrade their services. Never reduce your respect to the needs your loved one deserves.

Nursing Home Volunteer

Offering your free time to something that will benefit others is a very noble act. Volunteering will make you feel you did well with your free time by helping others; something memorable and worth the time. Nursing homes are one of the destinations of those who want to volunteer and spend some quality time serving people in need of a companion and assistance. Yes, a nursing home is not a fun place to visit; some call it a boring place. That’s a dishonor to our elders.

Home-2Volunteers are not required to have a background in healthcare or have some specific degree or certification. All you need is your willingness to volunteer. The usual needs of the nursing home residents are of course medical care, but they also need mental exercises and emotional connection that is very important to keep them healthy. If you become a volunteer in a nursing home, you will be involved in activities and games that are very exciting and enjoyable. During these activities, you might be hosting contests or dances, bingo nights and card games. These kinds of activities will make the residents forget about the loneliness.

You can also spend time talking to these remarkable residents who walked the earth long before us. You will be amazed by what you will hear about their life, the history that you are not aware of and their amazing adventure throughout their life. You will gain quality time and good memories throughout your shift as well as receive great smiles from the new people that you will meet. If you are the type of a person that loves interacting with people and open to extending help to others through your time, you might be suited to volunteering in a nursing home.