Phenomenon of Nursing Homes in the USA - Essay Example

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The research subject of my essay is a phenomenon of nursing homes in the USA, therefore the issue I want primarily to focus on is their social status, historical origin and current position within our society. Since every notion requires an appropriate definition, I suppose it is rather pertinent to present some interpretations…
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Phenomenon of Nursing Homes in the USA
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The research of my essay is a phenomenon of nursing homes in the USA, therefore the issue I want primarily to focus on is their social status, historical origin and current position within our society. Since every notion requires an appropriate definition, I suppose it is rather pertinent to present some interpretations. These are quite similar, however in order to get the fuller appreciation of idea of nursing homes it is better not to narrow down to only one definition. In summary, a nursing home is: - “a convalescent home or private facility for the care of individuals who do not require hospitalization and who cannot be cared for at home” [ ] - “a nursing home is an establishment with three or more beds that provides nursing or personal care services to the older population, infirm, or chronically ill ( definition of the National Nursing Home Survey) [] - “a residence that provides a variety of services such as a room, meals, recreational activities, assistance with activities of daily living and protection/supervision to residents; some are licensed by the state and are required to follow state and federal regulations. Some nursing homes specialize in areas such as Alzheimerís disease, pain management, incontinence training and cardiac rehab” [] - “a place where persons reside who need some level of medical assistance and/or assistance with activities of daily living. A term used to cover a wide range of institutions including Skilled Nursing Facilities, Intermediate Care Facilities, and Custodial Care Facilities. Not all nursing homes are Medicare approved/certified facilities” [] The relevance of nursing homes issue is worth mentioning and bringing into discussion, I assume, since alone the fact that “there are about 25,000 nursing homes with about 1.5 million beds” nowadays [Patel, 17], at that approximately 75 percent of them proprietary, 20 percent non-profit, and 5 percent government-operated),serves as an evidence thereof. Another statistical data claims that presently about 4 out of 100 adults who are 65 years old or older live in nursing homes [Couper, Lapham]. Among the other key terms of the research the following are to be mentioned: ethical status (social image), historical background, regulation, residents, and medical care.
Nursing homes are viewed once in a while as disanimating establishments flagging the spirits, as a “final abode”. “They remind us of our own mortality and of the inevitable time when most of us will face the frailty, ailments, and incapacities of old age.” [Boyle]. However, the fact that nursing homes provide shelter and are actually essential places to which exhausted families turn when they cant manage at home and when adequate community support is unavailable or unavailing, still has its right to exist. For some potential residents, too, moving to a nursing home represents escape from the seclusion, loneliness, and gloomy prospects of a solitary house or apartment. Placement into such establishment implies the return to a “social setting and a community of care and concern” [Dallas, 48]. Except on occasions, I personally tend to think that family rejection of the elderly is merely not the primary pattern in the United States. The ordinary nursing home placement is that case when family members can be utterly seeking for institutional care as a result of own somewhat poor care-giving capacities etc. Cultural image of nursing homes actually “works upon” their ethical status. To the understandable disappointment of either the researchers in this field or their staffs representatives, the widespread image of nursing homes is often contradicts the major facts about the frail elderly and their care. For the broader cultural aspect, nursing homes still connotate to notions of neglect or leaving behind, still bearing the shadow of their "poorhouse" bygone and the pre-Social Security display of the elderly as an impecunious, dependent and socially stricken group. Some statistic data claims that the annual cost per resident in nursing homes amounts to an average of $28,000 in the north-eastern states to $20,000 in the south. About 51 percent of these costs are paid straightforwardly by the elderly and their relatives; thereat Medicaid covers about 44 percent, Medicare less than 2 percent, private insurance is about 1 percent, and other government sources provide the rest of sum. Policy makers and regulators should probably establish stable guiding principles for suitable practice, as well as providing motivation for effective and ingenious innovations in individual nursing homes. This means that the local administrators in their turn should be in much closer connexion with regulators so that they can coordinate particular practices that are acceptable within those broader guidelines
Collopy, B., Boyle, P., & Jennings, B. (1991). New Directions in Nursing Home Ethics. The Hastings Center Report, 21(2), 1+. Retrieved from Questia database:
Couper, D. P., & Lapham, S. S. (2002). Aging in America. Social Education, 66(5), M16. Retrieved from Questia database:
High, Dallas. (1988). All in the Family: Extended Autonomy and Exceptions in Surrogate Health
Care Decisionmaking. The Gerontologist 28, supplement: 46-51.
Patel, K., & Rushefsky, M. E. (1995). Health Care Politics and Policy in America. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe. Retrieved from Questia database: Read More
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