Nursing home environments

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Beth E. Barba, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Nursing homes! What horrible images those words conjure up for most Americans. Those of us who work in long-term care encounter the public beliefs that taking up residence in a nursing home is an irreversible road to suffering and death. People picture institutions that are cold and sterile environments with hospital-like rooms and long, uncarpeted hallways and institutional colors. Residents of nursing homes are imagined as frail older folks, who are deteriorating and disabled, existing in rooms shared by like individuals, at best dimly aware of their environments and isolated from the wider society. Time in a nursing home is envisioned as passing slowly with each day regimented and boring. It is little wonder that many older people in this country fear being "put into" a nursing home, to the point of extracting solemn promises from family never to allow this to happen. Some families suffer great guilt and anguish about the decision to move their older relatives to nursing homes. Nursing home caregivers have low status in the hierarchy of health care workers, evidenced by comparatively low pay and high turnover. Care of residents is directed at treating their individual medical problems, but actually differs little from resident to resident. The staff is clearly separated from the residents by a wide gulf of power homes authority. In addition, nursing homes are self-contained communities, usually with little or no connection to the activities of the neighborhoods in which they are located. Nursing home residents are not generally seen as growing, thriving individuals with busy, full, active lives. Building friendships, discovering talents, enjoying involvement with children, families, animals, caregivers, and the greater community are not envisioned as possibilities for nursing home residents.

Additional Information

Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 28(3), 5-6
Language: English
Date: 2002
Nursing home environments

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