FAMILY & KIDS

“There’s That Awful Smell!” The Truth About The Conditions In Nursing Homes

Date April 9, 2019 12:15

In many countries, there are nursing homes where elderly people can receive care and attention. Some residents of these institutions are lonely and childless; others are there because relatives can’t look after them. However, instead of compassion and understanding, they often face cruelty from the staff, and this sad reality contributes to numerous misconceptions about them.

“There’s That Awful Smell!” The Truth About The Conditions In Nursing HomesDe Visu / Shutterstock.com

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There are public and private nursing homes, which reflects on the quality of services provided to the elderly. A nursing home is a place where older people are provided with comprehensive and often around-the-clock care. They are on the full board basis under the supervision of doctors and nurses. There are rehabilitation classes and procedures available, and leisure activities are organized for them. So, what really happens behind the doors of a nursing home?

Common misconceptions of nursing homes

1. It’s a place where people go to die

This is one of the most common misconceptions. Although there are people who live the rest of their days in nursing homes, there are many of those who recover from various health problems, such as injuries, surgeries, strokes, or heart attacks.

“There’s That Awful Smell!” The Truth About The Conditions In Nursing HomesGagliardiPhotography / Shutterstock.com

2. It smells awful there!

Incontinence is an age-related issue and no one is immune from it. However, most modern nursing homes pay great attention to cleanliness and compliance with sanitary standards.

“There’s That Awful Smell!” The Truth About The Conditions In Nursing Homeswavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

3. It’s depressing there

Nursing homes are not hospitals. Some residents are rather taken aback by the change in their usual way of life in the first weeks, but they soon get used to the friendly atmosphere.

“There’s That Awful Smell!” The Truth About The Conditions In Nursing HomesPhotographee.eu / Shutterstock.com

4. The feeling of guilt

Often, families prefer to take care of their older relatives on their own. But there are also different cases when the elderly decide to move to nursing homes so as not to be a burden.

READ ALSO: 98-Year-Old Woman Looks After Her 80-Year-Old Son In A Nursing Home

“There’s That Awful Smell!” The Truth About The Conditions In Nursing HomesPhotographee.eu / Shutterstock.com

5. There is no personal space there

Generally, the staff tries to respect the privacy of the residents. However, at the same time, it is their job to ensure safety.

“There’s That Awful Smell!” The Truth About The Conditions In Nursing Homesmickyso / Shutterstock.com

6. The people are lonely there

Relatives and friends are, indeed, infrequent guests in nursing homes, but it comes down to the people. Many facilities are equipped with lounges where guests can socialize, play games, or watch TV together.

“There’s That Awful Smell!” The Truth About The Conditions In Nursing HomesRobert Kneschke / Shutterstock.com

If you are considering the possibility of selecting a nursing home for your relative or yourself (in the future), pay attention to the following aspects.

  1. If the stay is temporary, ask your supervising physician for a recommendation.
  2. Determine your priorities: care, nutrition, rehabilitation or physiotherapy, hospice.
  3. Feel free to ask others for recommendations. It could be colleagues, volunteers, or acquaintances who have already had a similar experience.
  4. Call the selected facilities or visit them. Return with a surprise visit to make sure you weren’t misled the first time.
  5. Carefully read the terms of the contract. Get legal assistance if necessary.

A decision to relocate your relative to a nursing home is a difficult one. But sometimes it is the best way to provide care and save the relationship and good memories, isn't it?

READ ALSO: Should You Send Your Elderly Parents To A Nursing Home If You Can't Care For Them?