A nursing home is a long-term care facility that offers room and board and health care services, including basic and skilled nursing care, rehabilitation, and a full range of other therapies, treatments, and programs. People who live in nursing homes are referred to as residents.
Nursing homes are often the only alternative for patients who require nursing care over an extended period of time. They are too ill to remain at home, with families, or in less structured long-term facilities. These individuals are unable to live independently and need assistance with activities of daily living (ADL). Nursing homes are largely populated by the elderly. Some nursing homes offer specialized care for certain medical conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.
Commonly, nursing home residents are no longer able to participate in the activities they once enjoyed. However, it is required by law that these facilities help residents achieve their highest possible quality of life. It is important for residents to have as much control as possible over their everyday lives. Laws and regulations exist to raise nursing home quality of life and care standards.
By law, nursing homes cannot use chemical or physical restraints unless they are essential for treating a medical problem. There are many dangers associated with the use of restraints, including the chance of a fall if a resident tries to walk while restrained. The devices may also lead to depression and decreased self-esteem. A doctor's order is necessary before restraints can be used in a nursing home.
Rhonda Cloos R.N., The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,