long term care are services offered to individuals with disabilities, elderly or individuals suffering from chronic illnesses to help them meet both their medical and non-medical needs. Many families opt to place elderly people in long term care because they believe that they will get the attention they need at that particular stage. Nursing homes are institutions where long term care services are offered to the disabled and the elderly. In the recent years, nursing homes in Canada and other nations such as United States have increased as more people are now comfortable with taking their elderly to nursing homes than before. Nursing homes are developed and maintained depending on the services offered at the institution and the status of the people who will be residing in them. Nursing homes have become an investment opportunity for individuals who target elderly people coming from affluent communities or those looking to reside in a comfortable place which they can pay using their pension. While nursing homes have become acceptable there are those people who believe that placing individuals in a nursing home is similar to abandoning them. Many individuals who take their elderly to nursing homes believe that they do not have the time or resources to cater for the needs of the elderly and disabled. Nursing homes have both advantages and disadvantages because on one hand they provide much needed care to the elderly and disabled and on the other hand individuals are limited on the activities they can perform as well as their freedom of movement is limited.
Individuals suffering from chronic illness, disabled and the elderly need constant care and attention which might be overwhelming for the immediate family. Long term care means that these individuals require to be attended to many times during the day. Moreover, it means that they cannot be left without supervision. Families with individuals suffering from these conditions might feel physical, emotional and financial burden when caring for them and so they look for alternative ways to offer them help (Hendersonand Maria, P 38). Nursing homes provide the families with a way out since they give them the opportunity to take care of their family member by paying for them to stay in nursing homes. therefore, nursing homes provides a solution which works for both parties, the family gets to indirectly care for their loved one while the nursing home makes profits by enlisting the individuals in their institutions.
One of the advantages of placing individuals in nursing homes is that they get access to both medical and non-medical care. Nursing homes employ trained nurses to attend to the patient’s needs. Some institutions are looking to utilize robots as part of their staff members to help with the increasing number of people being placed in nursing homes (Pineau, Joelle, et al). The nurses ensure that those individuals suffering from different ailments get access to their medicine at the appropriate time. In addition, the nurses help the patients move around and interact with other people within the facility. Nurses are also tasked with the responsibility of listening and creating a bond with individuals under their care so that they can maintain a social life (Castle, Nicholas and Jamie). Nurses should also help their patients maintain cleanliness by changing their sheets and helping them take their baths. Nursing homes, therefore, help those in the facility achieve the comfort they need away from home. The homes are meant to help individuals maintain a sense of normalcy even in the new environment.
Another advantage of nursing homes is that they provide safety for the individuals. Many of the elderly people are unable to protect themselves from other individuals who might try to take advantage of them. Thieves can break into a home where elderly people are living in since they are easy targets. In addition, there are individuals who might take advantage of their inability to move around and con them of their money if their family members are not present to protect them. Nursing homes allow individuals to live in an institution where they will only need to pay for the services they receive from the institution and they are provided with the safety they need (Castle, Nicholas and Jamie). Due to their inability to effectively care for themselves, elderly and disabled individuals can cause minor and major accidents both on themselves and individuals around them. Nursing homes provide their patients with nurses who can care for them thus ensuring their safety.
On the other hand, nursing homes do not have the interests of their patient as their first priority since many of them are profit making institutions. Individuals believe that placing their elderly in nursing homes will ensure that they are given attention and care. While the institution might be able to meet some of their patients’ needs they cannot meet all of them. Many institutions will enlist more people that they can handle so that they can make as much profits as possible (Harrington, Charlene, et al). Their patients are put in squeezed environments since the institution does not care much about their well-being. Public nursing homes especially do not lay much focus on patients’ needs but on their ability to make money. Some of the institutions employ few nurses who cannot cater for all the patients in the facility. The nurses work for long hours with little wages which make it hard for them to give the patients quality care (Woodhead, Lynn Northrop and Barry). Many nursing institutions, therefore, will take in clients as long as they are willing to pay the amount stipulated without forcing the institution to make any additional changes to help the patient.
Nursing institutions do not care about the health and personal safety of their patients. There have been cases of sexual, physical and emotional abuse of individuals in nursing homes. The staffs tasked with the responsibility of taking care of the patients take advantage of their fragility and weak state. Women in some nursing homes have been raped by their nurses and other staff members. Some of the patients opt to remain silent since they either do not want to bother their families with such information or they are ashamed of stating that they have been raped. Individuals who have experienced sexual abuse will also perform drug abuse since they need a coping mechanism (Gurwitz, Jerry H., et al). The patients will acquire drugs from staff members who want to make an extra income since their salaries are not able to meet their economic needs. The patients do not need to have access to street drugs since all they need is something which will take away their pain and feelings of shame. In addition, there are staff members who physically abuse their patients. Due to frustrations caused by high stress working environment and inability to meet their financial goals, staff members will hit their patients when they feel that the patients are not complying with their orders (Gurwitz, Jerry H., et al). Therefore, families might think that by placing their elderly in nursing homes they are giving them the opportunity to lead a comfortable life but they are putting them in harm’s way.
Nursing homes also take away the patients freedom and independence. Nursing homes have rules and regulations that all the patients as well as the family members who have placed their loved one in the institution have to follow. The rules and regulations are meant to give the patients a new form of normalcy as well as help the staff members know the where about of their patients at all times (Woodhead, Lynn Northrop and Barry). Everyone has a routine which they have developed and maintained in their life and when the routine is disrupted it can become difficult for some individuals to adapt to the new environment. Many people in nursing homes end up giving up hope of living a healthy lifestyle since they can no longer do things that they used to do when they were living alone or with their family. Moreover, these individuals are lonely since they do not interact with friends and family as often as they did before being committed to a nursing home. Their social circle becomes limited to individuals in the institution. Many individuals who are unable to form a social life with those in the institution become depressed since they spend more time alone than with others. Since there are not many activities they can do in the nursing institutions, individuals succumb to overthinking and focusing on things that are no longer working well for them.
Nursing homes are institutions which give long term care to the elderly and sometimes care for the disabled and individuals suffering from chronic illnesses. Advantages of nursing homes are that they offer safety to the patients as well as helping individuals achieve their medical and non-medical needs. However, nursing homes are business ventures and like many other businesses they are profit oriented. Many institutions offer subsidized care to their patients. Moreover, the individuals might experience physical, emotional and sexual abuse at institutions. Individuals placed in nursing homes might experience depression since they have been uprooted from their independence and freedom.
Harrington, Charlene, et al. “Does investor ownership of nursing homes compromise the quality of care?.” American journal of public health 91.9 (2001): 1452-1455.
Castle, Nicholas G., and Jamie C. Ferguson. “What is nursing home quality and how is it measured?.” The Gerontologist 50.4 (2010): 426-442.
Gurwitz, Jerry H., et al. “Incidence and preventability of adverse drug events in nursing homes.” The American journal of medicine 109.2 (2000): 87-94.
Pineau, Joelle, et al. “Towards robotic assistants in nursing homes: Challenges and results.” Robotics and autonomous systems 42.3-4 (2003): 271-281.
Woodhead, Erin L., Lynn Northrop, and Barry Edelstein. “Stress, social support, and burnout among long-term care nursing staff.” Journal of Applied Gerontology 35.1 (2016): 84-105.
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Henderson, J N, and Maria D. Verperi. The Culture of Long Term Care: Nursing Home Ethnography. Westport, Conn: Bergin & Garvey, 1995. Print