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.

Hospital Jobs    

A hospital is a place for patients and doctors. But jobs in a hospital are not limited to just health care. According to forbes.com, hospitals employ more than 5 million people and they are all hardly doctors. America’s general medical and surgical hospitals have one-third jobs that are non-medical.

In a hospital, there are clinical and non-clinical jobs in all levels and types. Clinical hospital jobs are those which provide direct patient care, such as nurse, doctors, or allied personnel. Meanwhile, non-clinical hospital jobs are administrative or management types of roles, from the janitors to the executives.

Some of the clinical hospital jobs include physicians (ER doctors, surgeons, hospitalists), nurses (CRNA, RN, LPN/LVN, CNS, techs (Radiology Tech, Ultrasound Tech, Surgical Tech), therapists (Physical Therapist, Radiation Therapist), medical assistants, pharmacists, medical lab technologists, and dietician.

DLSThe examples of non-clinical hospital jobs include case managers (social workers), accountants, human resources and recruiting, executives (CEO, CFO, CIO), information technologists, and administrative assistants.

Working in a hospital might be attractive to you if you enjoy working with people and being around a lot of other people. And if you like a bit of a challenge in the work place every day, you are bound to experience that as an average hospital has hundreds of employees and patients coming in on a daily basis. Also, hospital jobs are relatively secure. If you are looking for a work place where there is more hiring than firing, then you might want to consider working in a hospital.

Of course, there are also downsides to working in a hospital. It is probably not the most progressive place to work as hospital environments do not change much over the years. Other than medical technology, not much changes in the hospital environment. Aside from that, hospital politics is also an issue. And more importantly, you need to keep in mind that many sick people, including those with infectious disease s, come through the door.

Myths about Nursing Homes

DLSThe decision to move either ourselves or a family member to a nursing home is something we have to face as we age. It may be a decision that arrives suddenly after hospitalization, gradually as needs become more difficult to meet in other types of housing.

It is important to learn all you can about nursing homes to arrive at a less stressful decision that is right for you or your loved one. It is also important that you separate the facts from the myths about nursing homes to help you arrive at a decision. There are a lot of negative connotations to the label “nursing homes”, so knowing the truth can help ease some of your worries and bust of those myths.

Often, people think that a nursing home is the only option for those who can’t take care of themselves at home. That is not entirely true. There are a lot of options to help older adults stay at home, ranging from help with laundry and shopping to caregiving and visiting home health services. If staying at home is no longer possible, assisted living is another option if the primary need is custodial care rather than skilled medical care.

People also think that nursing homes are for those whose families do not care about them. This is a myth. If people cannot provide the necessary care for an older family member, the responsible thing to do is to find a place where the family member’s needs are met.

It is also a myth that all nursing homes provide poor care. Information about the facility’s staffing and previous violations are available to the public that will help you make a decision.

Lastly, it is also not true that you cannot leave once you are in a nursing home. That depends if the care that you need is necessary through the end of life. But there are cases where rehabilitative care is only needed and returning home or another housing option may be a better fit.

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.

Hospital Associated Pneumonia Prevention

Hospital associated pneumonia has become a great concern nowadays. According to WHO, pneumonia acquired from hospitals’ morbidity and mortality rates are staggering high. For those who are not aware, pneumonia that starts in the hospital tends to be more serious than other lung infections.

hospitalThis growing concern is due to several factors. Usually, the infection spreads when patients use respirators – machine for breathing. During hospital stay, patients are more vulnerable to germs or viruses since they are not well enough to fit the off. Patients who are more prone to this disease in the hospital are those who had surgeries, chemo therapy (cancer treatment with low immunity), have chronic lung disease, elderly, and alcoholic.

Germs are also passed from one health care staff to another through hand contact or clothing. This is why they are required to wear gloves and masks when on duty. There are also other ways to avoid the dreadful disease.

The best way to stop the spread of germs is through frequent hand washing, stay at home when sick, and boost immunity. People who need to visit their loved ones in the hospital must make sure that they have taken steps in preventing the spread of germs: bring hand sanitizer, wear masks and gloves, and never bring an infant or child. If you have contact with a person in the hospital, never place your hand from your face. When someone coughs or sneezes, cover your nose and mouth with clean tissue or hanky. Do the same when you sneeze or cough as well.

In-patients who are very young and old or very ill at greater risk of such infections. To prevent the spread of germs, get up-to-date vaccination. Ask your doctor about flu and anti-viral vaccinations available. With good preventive measures, you can ensure to have a disease-free life.

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. 

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.