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.

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.

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.

Neglect in Nursing Homes

Many of today’s nursing homes are managed by thoughtless and selfish business people whose main objective is pleasing their investors. They are compensated with nice incomes and rewards for team cutting and other cost-cutting methods. Profits are spent in powerful lobbying groups that enjoy effective influence over law makers and authorities. These organizations respond to medical negligence legal cases, not with training learned and corporate mandate to improve care, but with tort change, introduced and passed into law by greedy and recompensed congress. Eighty percent of the sector’s payments come from community funds, Medical health insurance and State health programs and we are not getting our entire worth.

nursing_homesHealth and Human Services revealed that medical health insurance paid $5.1 billion dollars for poor elderly care facility care in 2009. Harmless repercussions of poor care have taught this market that it’s more profitable to offer poor care and pay an occasional fine than it is to hire and train staff to offer proper care. Sequestration cuts are further weakening the bite of regulating agencies that view themselves as in “partnership” with the very market they’re charged with watching. Charges are meager, inconsistently gathered and do not act as preventives.

Silence and inaction are daily pointers that our community doesn’t want to think about old individuals suffering neglect and abuse in nursing. Even organizations with “aging” and “health care” in their titles don’t want to cross the nursing-home limit. The realities of life and death in nursing homes are too dark and our man’s instinct surrenders to more enjoyable matters. Accounts of abuse are as ignored as the sufferers themselves and reform supporters are continuously advised they can’t force individuals to good care. There are no children or pet dogs or cats to save in these experiences. They are old individuals who can no longer protect and defend themselves. Unfortunately, the number of individuals willing to rebel against this highly effective profit-motivated industry continues to be low. This is why true change and proper care remain out of our reach. We simply need more individuals to care and to be counted.