Nursing homes have dramatically changed over the past decades due to consumer pressures and government regulations. Today, most of these facilities are highquality and highly regulated institutions for the treatment and care of older people who have severe mental disabilities or physical health. Here are all that you need to know about nursing homes before deciding to use their services.
What is a nursing home?
As the name implies, a nursing home is simply a facility for people, especially the elderly, who don’t want to be in a hospital but cannot be treated at home. Most of these institutions offer skilled nurses and nursing aides up to 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Some nursing facilities are set up just like a hospital and the staff can offer medical care, as well as occupational, speech, and physical therapy. There will be a nurses’ station on every floor. Some other nursing homes are designed to be more like a home by providing a neighborhood feel. Basically, these places do not have a fixed day-to-day schedule, and the kitchens often open to the residents. More importantly, staff members are always encouraged to build close relationships with the residents.
Who lives in nursing homes?
It is estimated that nearly half of all people who are living in nursing homes are 80 years old or older. Just a few residents are 65 years old or younger. When it comes to gender, the majority of people are women, equivalent to 70 percent, many of them are without a partner (nearly 70 percent are never married, divorced, or widowed) and with only a small group of friends or family members for support.
Why live in a nursing home?
Some forms of disability with daily living activities are the most common reasons why older people often live in the nursing homes. Not surprisingly, most of them often come with more disability than those who live at home. In most cases, they need help with some basic tasks such as bathing, dressing, while somebody needs supervision and assistance in other activities. In addition, many residents have the incontinence (either bladder or bowel) and have difficulty with seeing or hearings. In addition to these physical conditions, mental issues are also common in residents of the nursing homes. In fact, dementia is the main mental problem, which affects approximately 50 to 70 percent of people. What’s more, some of them have problems with the memory or making daily decisions. Lastly, some problematic behaviors can be also the main causes for living in a nursing house. These include physical or verbal abuse, inappropriate act in public, necessary care resistance, and wandering.
The duration of stay can greatly vary in different nursing homes. About 25 percent of residents often stay in these facilities only in a short time (less than 3 months), while many elders who stay for a short time are admitted for terminal care or rehabilitation. In general, most of the residents often spend from 1 to 5 years in the nursing house. Interestingly, their function is often improved after a long time staying.