Nursing Homes Myths

EvergreenMoving yourself or a family member to a nursing home is one of the hardest decisions you have to make as you age. The decision to move may arrive suddenly or gradually after hospitalization or as needs become more difficult to meet in other types of housing, it is still not easy choice.

To lessen the stress about making a decision, it is important to learn all you can about nursing homes so you can choose one that is right for you or your family member. Knowing the facts from the myths will help. With so many negative connotations attached to the “nursing homes” label, separating the myths from the truths can help ease some of your worries.

Most of the times, nursing homes are believed to be the only option for those who can’t take care of themselves at home. But this not completely true. Elderlies can also choose to stay at home because there a lot of services they can get help, ranging from help with laundry and shopping to caregiving and visiting home health services. Assisted living is also another option if staying at home is no longer possible. If the primary need of the older adult is custodial care rather than skilled medical care, assisted living can be an option.

Nursing homes are for those people whose families do not care about them. This is not true. Nursing homes are there for people whose families cannot provide the necessary care they need. Putting an older family older member in a nursing home where the family member’s needs are met is the responsible thing to do.

Nursing homes provide poor care. This is also a myth. Necessary information about the facility’s staffing and previous violations are available to the public. This will help you judge whether a nursing home provides poor care or not.

Lastly, you cannot leave a nursing home once you are in. This is only true if the care needed is necessary through the end of life. However, returning home or going to another housing option is possible if the care needed is only rehabilitative.

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.

Nursing Home Quality

Many reports have published information on the quality of care administered by nursing homes. This includes data on resident and family satisfaction and care outcomes. Information regarding a nursing home must be reviewed if you know that a family member needs nursing home care. Of course, we need to be sure that the facility is secure and the services they offer are above standard. You can also visit nursing homes yourself to check it or ask friends and family for their thoughts and experiences.

nursing homeThere are agencies that monitor and check nursing homes regularly. The Office of Facilities Regulation examines nursing homes to guarantee that they follow state and federal standards. You can contact them to learn more about a facility’s inspection results and recommendations.

The Healthcare Quality Reporting Program issues reports comparing the quality of care provided by different nursing homes in the state. Use the reports to learn about the outcomes that resident at different nursing homes experience and how often they get health conditions that good care may prevent.

Learn what residents and families say about their experiences with nursing homes by viewing satisfaction survey results. You may have heard horror stories about the quality of nursing home care. However, there are good nursing homes as well as bad ones. The nursing home should be hygienic and well maintained. A bad smell may indicate the staff is too busy to help residents to the bathroom or to change clothes. Rooms and public areas should be comfortable. The dining room and kitchen should be clean, and the food should be hot and appetizing or else their patients will lose weight due to lack of appetite.

Another thing, find out how the nursing home complies with the state and federal government regulations such as patient/staff ratio and training. Notice how staff members treat residents. Your choice will be a big factor to the health of your family member. Make sure you make the right decision and to continually monitor their program.

Considering a Nursing Home

A nursing home is a provider of custodial care for older people who can no longer take care of themselves. They differ from other senior housing facilities since they provide a much higher level of medical care. Assistance with feeding, bathing, and dressing are part of the services they offer as well as physical and speech therapy. Some nursing homes are designed to look and feel like home, which makes the mood more at ease and won’t make the elderly feel like a patient.

It may be painful to send a family member to a nursing home, it is still the best option to ensure the safety, health maintenance and as well as practicality. Most nursing homes provide residents with nursing aides and skilled nurses who will who will be on hand 24 hours a day.

nursing_homesSo when should you consider sending your family member to a nursing home? Here are some of the things you need to ask yourself before making a decision:

Is your family member can no longer take care of himself?  If yes, then it would be risky to leave him alone at home when everybody’s at work or at school. Most of the elderly became forgetful, like wandering and forgot the way back or leave a stove that may lead to a disaster. Bringing him to a nursing home where nurses can provide him basic services will then be an option.

Are there any family members who are available to take care of him? In some situations when the need for a nursing home is just temporary, family members can rotate care or hire a health worker who can work part-time when it is needed.

Are you ready to be separated? It would be hard to send him away when you are used to living with him. But you can visit him anytime at the nursing home whenever you have a free time.

Is the nursing home you know can provide his needs? The senior’s medical needs must be provided and a 24-hour supervision is must. The center must also have programs and conducts activities that will keep the elderly active and healthy.

Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Dilemma

For family members across Kansas and Missouri, struggling to choose the right service to take care of an aging beloved with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, an important aspect of the decision is understanding the differences between nursing homes and assisted living. It is a dilemma Mitzi McFatrich deals with every day as the executive director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care, a non-profit advocacy organization assisting elderly care service residents and or their family members. “There are so many of us that are aging and a large number of those individuals are going to have Alzheimer’s disease and dementia,” she said. “How are we going to fulfill their care needs?”

nursing_homesPeople often mix up nursing homes and assisted living facilities, but the two are not exactly the same. A nursing home provides health care to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia patients, with RNs on-site eight hours a day. In Missouri and Kansas, assisted living facilities employ RNs on a limited basis. Because assisted living facilities receive health insurance funding, there are strict state and government regulations on staff training, the number of employees required per shift and the level of cleanliness. There is zero government oversight for assisted living centers; very few state rules. Medicare often pays most of a patient’s elderly care service bill. In assisted living facilities, a resident’s family must shoulder the whole cost.

While a nursing home service agrees to become a permanent residence for individuals no matter their disease, a person who’s Alzheimer’s disease or dementia worsens can be discharged from an assisted living service. The director of education, programs and public policy for the Alzheimer’s Association, Heart of America chapter, Michelle Niedens says these care facilities can evict a resident in as little as 30 days. “There’s often an over promising; ‘We can handle your mom and dad, through the whole disease course,’ that is, until some major bump occurs and then the game gets changed,” Niedens said. According to McFatrich, facilities will say, “We can no longer fulfill this person’s needs. And that’s what they use in order to release someone.” That release or eviction can affect a family’s ability to find their loved one a new house.

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.

Nursing Homes Quality

Ohio tax payers are paying large numbers to nursing homes that don’t succeed to fulfill minimum state specifications for looking after their citizens, falling short of a bar many say is too low. Even three nursing homes on a government watch list for high numbers of inadequacies over long periods, two in Cincinnati and one in Youngstown, met Ohio’s quality measures, which give a passing quality even if a service flunks 75% of state specifications. In all, $12.7 million was invested to take good care of sufferers living in nursing homes that did not achieve at least five of 20 measures for great quality care, according to research for the financial year that ended June 30 from the Ohio Department of Medicaid. Still, less than 1% fell short of that standard, only nine of the 926 nursing homes. One has since closed. None is in central Ohio.

nursing_homes“We’ve got some good signs, but the floor is so low everybody can fulfill those,” said Robert Applebaum, home of the Ohio Long-term Care Research Project at Miami University. He also served on the advisory board that released suggestions to congress for enhancing care. “We need to do a better job of getting rid of bad-quality homes, but we also need to do a better job of reimbursing the high-quality homes.”

Medicaid, which provides coverage of health to poor and impaired Ohioans, will pay for approximately 70% of nursing-home care in the state. On average, the federal-state program includes about 58,200 long-term-care citizens. Last year, in an effort to improve institutional care, the state started demanding features to fulfill at least five of 20 high quality measures to earn a full State Medicaid programs payment, which earnings $165 a day per person. The measures include giving citizens meal options, enabling them to choose when they get up and go to bed and the opportunity to customize their bedrooms. The nine nursing homes unable to fulfill the mark lost 10% of the payment, or nearly $16.50 of the per-resident daily subsidy. Those funds are to be allocated to the more than 900 facilities meeting the standard.