Nursing home care is a practice where people especially the old and people with terminal sickness get extensive healthcare outside a hospital usually by an experienced nurse. It includes close monitoring of health progress and treatment. Within the treatment regime, a person also gets particular services such as physiotherapy provided by professionally trained staff. This concept has gained prominence over the years. This paper will look at the advantages of such care for the patients with terminal ailments.
Those who get the most advantages include the terminally sick, the elderly, and those with physical disabilities. Specialized health care attention usually gives people a sense of belonging and community (Diamond, 2009). At the nursing home, the patient has an around-the-clock caregiver who takes care of the health needs of the patient to ensure that he/she is as comfortable as possible.
A Gallup Poll conducted in 1996 showed that adults totaling up to eighty-eight percent would prefer to be taken care of by family members if they became terminally sick. Closely related to this care are hospices which give rational and professional care for the sick. Sunbury Nursing Home in London has provided this kind of health care to patients for many years. M.D. (2011) writes that the mother was given specialized health care, and all her needs were taken good care of during her dying moments. The writer further notes that the hospital went to the extent of baking a cake for the mother on her birthday.
This kind of attention which usually gives the patient a sense of a family is necessary for the terminally ill as they feel that they are still part of the society. The staff members of such facilities have specialized training on compassion. As in the case of MD’s mother, she got to celebrate her birthday with other patients and staff members with a cake; such care is usually not provided in conventional hospitals. The staff at the nursing homes view death as a natural process which should be respected. Therefore, the sick (terminal diseases) are given an environment that is closely related to their natural environment so as to make their dying moments to be very comfortable.
Nursing health care systems also look at the needs of the relatives of those admitted. This is because they recognize that the relatives also undergo mental anguish due to the problems of their sick relatives. DC (2010) notes that when her mother was at SNH facility, she frequently visited her, and each time, a member of staff would take the chance to speak to her and find out if she needed anything. She also notes that her mother was very happy with the environment at the facility. She further adds that each time she visited her, she noted that the care that the mother was given was very satisfying, and this made her very comfortable.
As a result of the increased life pressures, it sometimes becomes hard for family members to offer their full attention and support for ill relatives at home. Some people will usually employ a home-based nurse or caregiver, but this is not as effective as a nursing home. The home-based caregiver may have the necessary skills but, there is usually a feeling of loneliness among patients as they have no sense of community. At nursing homes, they get to intermingle with other patients closely, and this gives them a sense of community, which is helpful as it minimizes chances of developing other health complications (Diamond, 2009).
Nursing health care systems also take care of the patients’ needs that makes their lives run normally as compared to hospitals. Victor Mikkelson’s (2008) children note that when their father was admitted at Morrow Home Community, he became a part of a Christian environment which helped him cope with his illness. It is known that patients at the final stages of the disease have an inclination towards religion; thus, receiving religious teachings is necessary to them. The children also noted that patients were treated with respect, and their individuality was maintained at all times.
Patients admitted that at nursing homes, they feel that the treatment they receive is specialized and is in touch with their individual needs. This is significant as the individualized staff takes care of the particular needs of the patient just like it would be if they were at home. Such service considered their tastes and preferences which go a long way in ensuring comfort and helping patients to fit in the homes (American Geriatrics Society, 2001). The patients also feel well understood, which is significant in reducing the risk of developing other health complications. The individualized attention also enables the caregivers to seek medical help whenever needed and regularly be in touch with family members about the prognosis of the disease.
The children of Victor Mikkelson also note that the Morrow Home Community would organize events such as games, picnics, holiday celebrations, and musical shows on a regular basis. Their father enjoyed these events and even participated in some. The home also gave an opportunity for people from different age groups to interact; this is helpful especially for those people whose family members cannot visit them regularly as they have a sense of family and belonging. The happiness and comfort are significant as it reduces the suffering faced by the patients.
Nursing homes also have professional nutritional care. The food served to patients is usually professionally organized and prepared. This helps in taking care of the health benefits of patients who usually require special meals. The nutritional needs keep the patients healthy, which reduces chances of health complications because they eat only what benefits them (Diamond, 2009). At the nursing homes, the patients also receive individualized nutritional care which is significant as it eliminates the risk of developing food-related complications.
During the provision of health care services, the physician in charge of the patient remains in close contact with him/her. The physician works collaboratively with the staff members, and this gives a sense of continuity. It is comforting to also know that the patient will receive professional attention. The role of the physician is to offer medical care such as controlling pain and providing relief from extreme suffering, which comes with complications when the patient is about to die.
The family members of patients at nursing homes are usually affected by the events that lead up to the death of their loved one. Most nursing homes provide regular seminars and counseling sessions for family members to help them cope with the changing health status of their loved people. This reduces the stress that comes with the deteriorating health condition. Family members are also informed of the individual prognosis of the health status of their loved one, this assists them to cope with the changing needs (American Geriatrics Society, 2001).
In conclusion, it is evident that nursing homes are necessary as they take care of the specialized needs of patients and also attend to the needs of their family members. This helps patients and family members to cope with the illness and health needs that arise. The specialized care also reduces the cases of emergency hospital visits, as the patient’s health is closely monitored, thus reducing the stress that comes with such instances.