Living in a Nursing Home: Myths and Realities

Topics: Nursing home, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Medicare and Medicaid Pages: 8 (2760 words) Published: May 1, 2006
Myths and Reality are very far apart when it comes actually being placed or living in a nursing home. After working at a couple of private owned nursing facilities and two state funded nursing facilities I was able to see first hand the difference in the two. This also allowed me to eradicate these so called questions or myths.

According to a reprint from the American Health Care Association; "Many myths, or misconceptions, persist about nursing facility life. In the past decade, nursing facilities, like all areas of health care, have changed dramatically in terms of staffing, policies, procedures, and general approach to the needs of their patients. The goals of the long term care profession are to provide both quality care and quality of life in a safe and secure environment. " I will enclose my rebuttal to this statement later as this of course I believe is a Marketing technique to try to cover up the bad publicity that nursing homes have gotten over that past years for their lack of care.

In the past and still now people still have many ideas or myths about nursing homes. Here is a list of what are some of the common myths are: A nursing facility is like a hospital. All nursing facility residents are confused. I will have no privacy in a nursing facility. If I enter a nursing facility, I will never go home. If I enter a nursing facility, I will surrender my right to make decisions. Nursing facilities have an unpleasant odor. Nursing facility residents do not receive adequate care. Husbands and wives must live apart from one another in a nursing facility. Nursing facility residents aren't visited regularly by family and friends. The food is terrible in nursing facilities. These are all things that have been thrown out there and that have been listed by multiple sites on the internet, and it is my goal to address each one of them in this paper.

Is a nursing facility like a hospital? No, many residents enter the facility after they have left a hospital. It can be considered to be an after care or an extension of care. The concept of a nursing home is to be just that a Home setting. A more relaxed atmosphere so that the patient will be more at ease and will start to get back into a routine of things.

During the stay the patient will interact with other patients. The nursing facility will put together outings to encourage the patients to be more physical, social, and mentally active. Each patient of course is different and it is hard to pinpoint just what activities each patient might want to join in on. That is why there is always something planned and going on in a good nursing home.

Are all nursing facility residents confused? No, they are not all confused. Can they be a bit slower with age? Yes. As you get older your body tends to get tired easier and this allows you to mentally slow down also. This is what happens to these patients in the facility.

The main problem is the patients that need true medical attention. These are the ones that have to be on prescription medication for memory loss and even have worse problems like Alzheimer's. The difference is these patients are not normally just put out in a normal area of the nursing facility but yet in another wing and watched a bit closer. They need more specialized care because their condition is irreversible.

Will I have privacy in a nursing facility? There is actually no privacy in a nursing home. The reason behind this is it is so hard to find a good balance between security and supervision it is virtually impossible to respect the privacy of a patients privacy. A patients room might be considered to be a private area, but in all the rooms I have ever been in not one of them has ever had a lock nor can it ever have a lock. Plus, there is always some sort of light and noise levels that are constantly unacceptable. There is no way to have a private conversation, because everything is within earshot of another resident.

If I enter a nursing...

Bibliography: American Health Care Association, National Center for Assisted Living Consumer Information 2003
GAO/HEHS-95-109 Long-Term Care Issues, p. 7.
Long-Term Care Planning: A Dollar and Sense Guide, United Seniors Health Cooperative, August, 1997, p. 51.
Long-Term Care Planning: A Dollar and Sense Guide, United Seniors Health Cooperative, August, 1997, p. 64).
Murtaugh, Kemper, Spillman, & Carlson, 1997, The amount, distribution, and timing of lifetime nursing home use, Medical Care, 35 (3), 204-218.
New Mexico Health Care Association, Consumer Information
Ohio Health Care Association, Consumer Information
The Risk of Nursing Home Use Later in Life, Medical Care 28(10): 952-62.
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