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Nursing Homes
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1.       alameda
3499 posts
 23 Dec 2008 Tue 07:49 pm

I wonder if anyone has any experience or ideas about this?

 

I have a friend who is in a nursing home now that I have been visiting lately. The one he is in is actually very good, but it´s so depressing. There are some people screaming, it smells bad, horrible in fact. It is like a snake pit opened and you see inside.

 

Last night a woman was screaming and screaming. It was difficult to visit with my friend, so I went to her door to see what was going on. It turns out her bed was broken and she was very uncomfortable, so I got the help to look after it.  Everytime I go there someone is screaming in some room or hall.

 

My friend is an artist who was very elegant when he was younger. He had fabulous parties that were attended by hundreds. Now he is in the nusing home,  alone most the time. He is lucky in as much as he has friends who do visit him, but many do not.

 

What can be done to make these places better, any ideas?

2.       libralady
5152 posts
 23 Dec 2008 Tue 08:20 pm

Yes, I know exactly.  My grandparents lived in one home for a few years in their last years.  The place stank of urine and there were patients with dementia.  It makes you want to cry, to see these people who really don´t know one day from the next. 

 

My mother-in-law was in one for a couple of weeks after she had been in hospital, while the house was being altered for her, after she had a stroke.  That one was better than the one my grandparents lived in but again there were patients with dementia; one old chap was talking about someone he was in the army with and kept thinking it was my husband.

 

But in the UK there is a difference between a nursing home and a residential home, which is where my grandparents and my mother-in-law were.

3.       Melek74
1506 posts
 23 Dec 2008 Tue 08:21 pm

I don´t have any family/friends in nursing homes, but I had this idea to volunteer once, when I was in my early 20s to visit people in nursing homes - the church I used to go to had this group of volunteers and they would assign people for you to visit - usually those who didn´t have anybody else who would visit them. I did it for a few months and then I couldn´t do it anymore. It is, I agree, very depressing. That particular nursing home smelled of urine, even though it looked very clean, which I guess would be somewhat normal (?) if there are many people with incontinence problems. It was difficult to communicate with some of the people due to either their medical or mental condition. The worst to the surroundings are people with dementia - in my experience they are the ones that would be screaming uncontrollably - although from a patient´s perspective I would image worse off to be those who are oriented to their surroundings and situation. When I was working in a psychiatric hosp, I found patients with dementa to be most difficult to work with as well - both emotionally and due to the amount of care required. Sometimes one can observe a tendency for the staff to overmedicate those patients just to keep them quiet. I don´t know what can be done to improve the situation. I think a lot depends on the staff, if they are providing quality care, but also on families if they are visiting the patients and bringing up any problems to the staff´s attention. It is not uncommon for patients to develop bedsores where the quality of care is not there. I hate to say it, but I think a lot depends on the money as well - you´ll probably find better quality care in the more expensive nursing homes. You´ll probably find as well that patients have more activities and entertainment in those type of places as well. In any way, it is extremely depressing in my opinion, and my hat is off to those people who work in nursing homes.

4.       alameda
3499 posts
 24 Dec 2008 Wed 10:40 pm

 

Quoting Melek74

...... The worst to the surroundings are people with dementia - in my experience they are the ones that would be screaming uncontrollably - ................... families if they are visiting the patients and bringing up any problems to the staff´s attention.

 

I hate to say it, but I think a lot depends on the money as well - .... In any way, it is extremely depressing in my opinion, and my hat is off to those people who work in nursing homes.

 

My hat is off to them ONLY when they provide sensitive compassionate care. One should remember, it is a business. Many of these institutions get all of their patients retirement benefits. IOW...their social security payments go directly to the institution, not the patient.

 

Of course, money talks....but no matter how much money you have, it will never substitute for loveing care.  Many times retirees savings are used up on nursing care, or end of life care. I´ve seen that many times.

 

As to the demented patients....how many times is the dementia caused by the situation they are in?  Maybe they are screaming because there IS a problem. I saw that the other night when I went to the door of a woman who was screaming. I was ready to dismiss her as demented, but decided to check.

 

She was quite lucid. As it turned out her bed was broken and nobody was paying attention and most of all fixing her most uncomfortable position. Her bed was broken and it looked like a children´s palyground slide. It took real energy to get them to look into the problem and resolve it.

 

Many are afraid to complaign because they are afraid they will be kicked out. If a patient is too difficult, they are dismissed. Then where do they end up?.....most likely the street....

 

I have started doing some research on the matter and found some resources...and most importantly, just what are the laws. I have a friend who´s mother and father are in the Netherlands, (national, not immigrants) They are able to provide wonderful care to their elders.  My hat is certainly off to them for their care for their elder citizens. In the USA, it´s a national disgrace.

 

It will become a major issue as the Baby Boomer generation ages.

 

I found this organization in California that does good work related to this issue.  Here is the federal goverment page related to nursing homes.

 

5.       Melek74
1506 posts
 24 Dec 2008 Wed 10:59 pm

 

Quoting alameda

My hat is off to them ONLY when they provide sensitive compassionate care. 

 

As to the demented patients....how many times is the dementia caused by the situation they are in? 

 

All good points you´re bringing up. Just a couple comments to your post.

 

In my opinion it does take a special person to provide care to people in nursing home. I would think providing sensitive compassionate care day in and day out would be something extremely difficult given the nature of the profession. Compassion fatigue and caregiver burnout are very real, combine it with understaffed facilities and overload of work and you have a recipe for maybe less than perfect care. There´s no excuse for neglect of course and for doing a bad job, but give those people a break too, working in a facility like that is quite different than visting once a week.

 

Dementia I was referring to is an organic brain disease - or rather a symptom of an organic brain disease. Hardly caused by external circumstances in most cases.

 

6.       peacetrain
1905 posts
 24 Dec 2008 Wed 11:38 pm

There are good and bad places and the important point is to ensure visits are made and questions asked , before making a decision.  There is a brilliant nursing home/residential care home (it caters for both) near where I live and my grandmother was there 20 years ago.  It has a waiting list as it is so popular.  It is a run by a married couple, who are nurses and they brought their children up there too.  They treat the residents with great respect and ensure they live a full life.  The organise outings and they have craft sessions and charity events.  They try to keep the residents occupied and have lots of different therapists visiting.  It´s a great place.

 

I am also reminded of a solution one elderly couple had.  It was on the radio news earlier in the year and I can´t remember the details fully.  For a great many years an elderly couple have been ´living´ in a Travel Lodge Hotel (or similar).  They lived in the same one for many years then moved to another.  They paid the going rate and then paid for their meals.  It all worked out cheaper than living in a residential home!!!  They must have had an arrangement for their laundry.  They had no stairs to climb, TV in their room, ensuite shower room and drink making facilities.  They had plenty of people to talk to during the day too!!!  They owned their own home but didn´t live in it for much of the year as it was cheaper to stay in the motel.

 

I though that was quite a quirky story. 

7.       alameda
3499 posts
 24 Dec 2008 Wed 11:43 pm

 

Quoting Melek74

All good points you´re bringing up. Just a couple comments to your post.

 

In my opinion it does take a special person to provide care to people in nursing home. I would think providing sensitive compassionate care day in and day out would be something extremely difficult given the nature of the profession. Compassion fatigue and caregiver burnout are very real, combine it with understaffed facilities and overload of work and you have a recipe for maybe less than perfect care. There´s no excuse for neglect of course and for doing a bad job, but give those people a break too, working in a facility like that is quite different than visting once a week.

 

Dementia I was referring to is an organic brain disease - or rather a symptom of an organic brain disease. Hardly caused by external circumstances in most cases.

 

I disagree with you here. Of course those who work in care facilities are underpaid, and the facilities are understaffed. That does result in burn out. However, this should not be a solely a moneymaking endeavour. For sone it is just a job. Why don´t we take another look and reevaluate how things are done? Maybe there is a better way. How is it that Holland is able to do such a good job, and we in the USA are not?

 

As to the dementia problem, of course I know it is an organic brain disease, but my question is/was, how many are dismissed as being demented? Diet, emotional state can impact on how the mind works as well. I think we are too quick to attribute odd/antisocial behaviour as dementia, when maybe it is not.

 

8.       alameda
3499 posts
 24 Dec 2008 Wed 11:46 pm

 

Quoting peacetrain

There are good and bad places and the important point is to ensure visits are made and questions asked , before making a decision.  There is a brilliant nursing home/residential care home (it caters for both) near where I live and my grandmother was there 20 years ago.  It has a waiting list as it is so popular.  It is a run by a married couple, who are nurses and they brought their children up there too.  They treat the residents with great respect and ensure they live a full life.  The organise outings and they have craft sessions and charity events.  They try to keep the residents occupied and have lots of different therapists visiting.  It´s a great place.

 

I am also reminded of a solution one elderly couple had.  It was on the radio news earlier in the year and I can´t remember the details fully.  For a great many years an elderly couple have been ´living´ in a Travel Lodge Hotel (or similar).  They lived in the same one for many years then moved to another.  They paid the going rate and then paid for their meals.  It all worked out cheaper than living in a residential home!!!  They must have had an arrangement for their laundry.  They had no stairs to climb, TV in their room, ensuite shower room and drink making facilities.  They had plenty of people to talk to during the day too!!!  They owned their own home but didn´t live in it for much of the year as it was cheaper to stay in the motel.

 

I though that was quite a quirky story. 

 

Hmmm interesting peacetrain....how is this dealt with in England? I´m curious how other countries deal with the care needs of the elderly/end of life citizens.

 

9.       lessluv
1052 posts
 25 Dec 2008 Thu 12:12 am

 

Quoting alameda

Hmmm interesting peacetrain....how is this dealt with in England? I´m curious how other countries deal with the care needs of the elderly/end of life citizens.

 

 I am quite saddened by the care recieved in nursing homes and residential home in the areas where I live and work..... generally known as "don´t care homes". They are seen solely as businesses and are there for profit only..... It is hard work caring for the elderly but I have witnessed many times that the management team has not seen fit to provide the appropriately skilled staff to ensure the safety of those in their care.{#lang_emotions_rant}

I know there are good homes out there but in my line of work we generally only see the bad ones....people being left on toilets and commodes for hours. Suffering from malnutrition as they haven´t been able to feed themselves and no one thought to help them..... we regularly report these homes but they are still there and still providing only the most basic of needs.

 

It just really really breaks my heart to think that you work hard all your life to provide for yourself and your family and to have a decent quality of life.... to end it all in a state of neglect and subjected to abuse is just criminal (and really depressing!){#lang_emotions_sad}

10.       alameda
3499 posts
 25 Dec 2008 Thu 12:46 am

Where do you live and work, lessluv? What type of work do you do? Actually it´s not only the elderly who are in these facilities, it´s anyone who iis too sick to care for themselves and doesn´t have anyone who can provide that care. With so many working away from home, those numbers are increasing.

 

I know a 23 year old woman who was in one.

 

Quoting lessluv

 I am quite saddened by the care recieved in nursing homes and residential home in the areas where I live and work..... generally known as "don´t care homes". They are seen solely as businesses and are there for profit only..... It is hard work caring for the elderly but I have witnessed many times that the management team has not seen fit to provide the appropriately skilled staff to ensure the safety of those in their care.{#lang_emotions_rant}

I know there are good homes out there but in my line of work we generally only see the bad ones....people being left on toilets and commodes for hours. Suffering from malnutrition as they haven´t been able to feed themselves and no one thought to help them..... we regularly report these homes but they are still there and still providing only the most basic of needs.

 

It just really really breaks my heart to think that you work hard all your life to provide for yourself and your family and to have a decent quality of life.... to end it all in a state of neglect and subjected to abuse is just criminal (and really depressing!){#lang_emotions_sad}

 

 

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