Nursing Home Services
What associations does the phrase “nursing home” evoke in you? We dare to suggest that they are not the most pleasant: dull state-owned interiors, tasteless “hospital” food, indifferent staff, lonely old people in washed-out pajamas who are here only because they have no other choice. Yes, it was like that before. But now there is a choice: these are private nursing homes. As a rule, a green area with clean air and places for walking is chosen to accommodate such facilities.
Living in a nursing home: what are the benefits?
The first and main advantage of living in a private nursing home is the voluntary decision and complete freedom to choose a nursing home. This is not a state “charity house”, where the social guardianship bodies forcibly place lonely old people. You are willing to spend your money, which means you
have a choice. One can choose a potential ward, study photos, a list of services, read reviews of the nearest nursing homes, visit these institutions, pay for a short stay, and then make the final decision: whether it will be permanent residence in a nursing home or periodic visits for the purpose of rest, treatment or rehabilitation. This is exactly what elderly people and their relatives do in civilized countries.
Other advantages of private nursing homes for the elderly compared to state nursing homes are obvious: their owners and staff have a direct financial interest in ensuring that the person stays in the institution for as long as possible. And this means that your elderly relative will receive maximum care and attention from the staff. In turn, the equipment of modern private boarding houses allows them to provide services that you cannot get in public institutions even for an additional fee. In particular, these are cozy home interiors, round-the-clock therapeutic support, the availability of individual “panic buttons”, masseur services, the ability to organize dietary meals, exercise therapy, etc.
Nursing home: selfishness or care?
Some people have the belief that placing one of their elderly relatives in a nursing home is a shameful and selfish decision. As a result, many old people who could receive qualified medical and psychological assistance while in a specialized institution continue to live in the same house or apartment with their always busy children and grandchildren. Who will look after the elderly person if you have to leave urgently? How can you protect the old person from the inconvenience of repairs or moving?
Who is able to quit work or school to see if the grandmother took her medicine on time? Who will do many hours of speech and movement exercises with a grandfather who had a stroke? How many of us can boast of having the professional training of a doctor, nurse, massage therapist, psychologist, physiotherapist and nutritionist all rolled into one? Perhaps more selfish is the decision not to go to a nursing home for the sake of “public opinion”? Of course, it will be difficult to convince all idle gossips that a paid nursing home is not at all the same as they imagined.
Living in a nursing home: pros and cons
The following aspects can be considered undoubted advantages:
- availability of prompt round-the-clock medical support (providing both qualified personnel and all necessary equipment);
- guaranteed balanced 5 meals a day;
- full-fledged household services (cooking, cleaning, changing bed linen, etc.);
- all necessary household assistance (when moving, eating, performing medical and hygiene procedures);
- specialized rehabilitation programs;
- a wide range of services which is difficult to provide at home;
- living in an environmentally friendly, quiet place;
- leisure programs;
- active communication, social adaptation.
However, as you know, the coin has two sides. With all the advantages of a private nursing home for the elderly, the main obstacle may be the reluctance of an elderly person to change his usual environment and atmosphere. This age-related feature should be treated with understanding since even for young people abrupt changes in life often entail stress disorders. Any elderly person with poor health is afraid of change. It may not be a good idea to suggest a move right away. Arrange for a start a short-term rehabilitation course (for one or two weeks) in a nursing home located near the house, so that an elderly person can easily return home on his own if he wishes. This freedom of action, as a rule, significantly reduces the degree of rejection and helps the patient to quickly adapt to new conditions. The future largely depends on the professionalism of the staff: their task will be to provide a psychologically comfortable environment for the ward so that he has a desire to return here again. However, not everything depends on the staff since the main communication takes place among the wards of the nursing home. And if your relative fails to find a common language with the neighbors, he will feel psychological discomfort, despite the best efforts of the staff. In this case, it is better to try to visit another nursing home.
In any case, relatives should convince the elderly person that he is not a burden for them, and living in a nursing home is not a way to get rid of the old man, but a desire to organize for him a full-fledged life filled with events and communication, to extend the period of vigor, contributing to harmony and longevity. Let the elderly person know that he will be able to return home at any time if he wants, that family members will regularly call and visit him, that the nursing home is not a link but new experiences and maintaining health.
When is a nursing home a must?
Unfortunately, life is full of unpleasant situations, one of which can be the illness of a loved one. It is especially difficult to cope with such a problem if the sick person is alone and relatives live far away. Such situations are quite common when older people refuse to move in with their children. For various reasons: someone does not want to be a burden, someone did not find a common language with the new relatives of children, someone does not want to change the climate. It’s a matter of life, as they say. What do you want to do if a person appeared a couple of thousand kilometers from your home who needs your care, but who refuses to live with you? Don’t put yourself in front of such a difficult choice. For the first time, you can hire a nurse, but this option has two significant drawbacks. Firstly, you will have to allow an outside stranger into the house of a helpless elderly relative, and secondly, not a single nurse can replace the entire staff of a private nursing home (and the nurse will not provide you with the appropriate equipment). So, a paid nursing home for the elderly can be the best choice if:
- rehabilitation is required for a person who has had a stroke, heart attack, trauma or psychological stress;
- a bedridden patient needs care (after a stroke, heart attack, fracture);
- an elderly person suffers from various kinds of cognitive dysfunctions (dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.);
- an elderly person suffers from limited mobility and needs constant household assistance;
- there is a lack of communication and a decrease in the level of social adaptation.
This is a list of situations in which it is not about comfort but about necessity. Without being a qualified specialist in several areas at once, you will not be able to help a loved one in these cases – despite all your desire. You just don’t know how to put together a rehab program. You don’t know how to massage properly. You will not be able to provide psychotherapeutic support. You have a very vague idea about physical therapy. Even if you are ready to quit work or study, then all that is enough for you is unskilled labor: assistance with hygiene procedures, wet cleaning, laundry, cooking. Yes, your conscience will be clear, and a loved one will see that you love and care for him, but such care will not help restore his health. Professionals should work here – and not just certified doctors and medical staff, but people who have experience in nursing exactly elderly patients. This process has many specific nuances – geriatrics is singled out as a separate area of medicine.
To sum up…
- The term “nursing home” is no longer intimidating;
- Modern private pensions for the elderly can help the elderly and their relatives solve many household and medical problems;
- Today the nursing home offers not only permanent residence but also short-term courses of treatment or just temporary residence;
- A nursing home for the elderly is not a shelter or exile, it is concern for maintaining health, attention and benevolence of the staff, new acquaintances, communication and impressions.