Advantages of a retirement home for Mrs. Willis
For many years, retirement homes have helped families in caring for their loved ones once they grow old. Today, many people work and spend limited time at home. The absence from home makes it difficult to take care of their old relatives once they become unable to provide for themselves. It creates an additional burden to those responsible. Retirement homes seem to offer a solution to the problem; they offer a conducive and safe environment where senior citizens can spend their last years well. It exposes them to other senior citizens they can interact with; such homes provide a safe environment and services such as; healthcare, nutritional and therapy services (LSEM, 2013).
There are advantages and challenges in taking a loved to an aged care facility. These facilities also known as retirement homes have peaks and challenges; this is in comparison to providing care for the senior citizen within the home environment. In order to comprehend the advantages of retirement homes, we will first consider the case of Mrs. Willis. An understanding of the challenges she faces at home will help in determining why the facility is a safer and better option for her.
The 70 year old woman Mrs. Willis lives with her cat in the community. Recent incidences forced her daughters to seek help from the community nurse. The daughters raised concerns stating that their mother is unfit to live alone and should be admitted in a retirement home. To back their statements, they argued that she became frequently confused. There are cases when she left the stove on many times, and got lost and wandered around the neighborhood. The constant confusion and inability to control her actions led to the request by her daughters; they suggested that she be placed in aged care facility. Problems arose when they discussed the idea with Mrs. Willis; their mother declined. She claimed moving from her house to a retirement home is undignified and unnecessary. It is a complex situation; ordered to determine whether or not a retirement home is the best choice for Mrs. Willis, it is necessary to consider its advantages over home based care; this is especially in relation to the provision of a secure surrounding for her to live. The discussion covers the area of security, medical services, nutritional needs, social needs and rights among others. As a registered nurse, I compile the advantages to help Mrs. Willis and her daughters in arriving at a unanimous decision (LSEM, 2013).
An aged-home is a place of residence for senior citizens. It provides care for people requiring 24 hour nursing care and supervision. The advantages of the home focus on; choice/quality of home, personalized health standards, daily life and social activities, protection of rights and complaints, environment, management and staffing.
Choice of Home & Quality
Retirement homes have clearly outlined objectives and range of facilities; these ensure the provision of quality services to their clients (Department of Health and Human Services, 2014). Choosing a high quality home helps in ensuring the provision of an individual’s particular needs. The facilities provide for various needs and create a family-like environment. Analyzing the standards and provisions of the facility beforehand helps to decide if it is the most appropriate for Mrs. Willis.
Health and personal care
Once she joins the facility, Mrs. Willis’ medical needs undergo analysis; this helps in ensuring the provision of relevant health and personal care services. A care plan exists for her health needs, something impossible to adequately receive at her own home. As she continues her stay at the facility, regular assessments occur; these determine improvements and arising healthcare challenges (Netten, Bebbington, Darton & Forder, 2001). The staff become aware of changes in her health needs and how to cater for them.
In relation to privacy and dignity, the facility ensures all residents receive respect; their dignity and privacy must be observed. It alleviates Mrs. Willis’ worry about her treatment at the facility. The person must be consulted in matters relating to her well-being and her views must be considered. Even in the person’s last days before death, quality care must be provided to ensure the person’s contentment during the last days of life. The staff should be open and willing to talk about death and its reality; it helps residents in living their last days to the fullest (Department of Health, 2003). It is psychologically necessary in ensuring her overall well-being and happiness.
Daily life and social activities
The safety of the environment provided within the facility will also ensure the provision of residents’ nutritional needs (Department of Health, 2003); old age should not limit or interfere with a person’s nutritional necessities. Food is a significant need in old age; due to failing health and weakening immune systems, senior citizens must receive nutritious food. It ensures the maintenance of health and well-being. In the facility, Mrs. Willis will be able to avoid complications associated with unhealthy eating habits and foods (The Caroline Walker Trust, 2004). The facility provides wholesome and nutritious meals at defined mealtimes. They also observe the residents food preferences in relation to personal and cultural predispositions. It provides the basic three meals a day and snacks at intervals (Food Standards Agency, 2007). Therapeutic diets also exist in relation to residents’ individual needs. The staff also helps residents in eating whenever necessary.
Old age does not mean a person’s social, recreational, cultural and occupational activities should stop. The facility creates an environment where residents can engage in activities of this nature. The residents’ social needs receive attention; whether active and outgoing or private and quiet. The facilities provide resources such as libraries and activity rooms where people can do things they enjoy; this promotes physical and psychological well-being thus reducing ailment cases. The staff provides special assistance in relation to selected activities. It is therapeutic and gives residents an opportunity to accommodate differing interests, cultures and religious and recreational needs presented by others. Every facility must be able to provide for the diverse social needs of its residents. Cultural, interests, leisure, social activities and daily living routines ensure the development of social and personal relationships (Kimondo, 2012).
In some cases, there may be some unacceptable occurrences or practices at the retirement home. The practices may have a detrimental effect on the residents. Though in order to avoid such cases, the facility has provisions for complaints and protection. The provisions guide the residents and he/her family on how to make complaints in case anything inappropriate occurs in the facility.
It means that the facility must abide by the residents’ rights provisions. For instance, they should be free from; verbal, physical, mental and sexual abuse, chemical or physical restraints without a doctor’s orders, mistreatment and neglect. A resident must actively participate in his/her care by choosing a doctor and treatment plans among others. They must personal choices and receive services based on individual preference and needs. He/she must also be aware of rights, medical records and the facility’s bed-hold policies. His/her policy must be upheld; the decision to receive or refuse visits from family and friends should be entirely his/her decision (OSHA, 2009).
In case of complaint, the resident can notify a staff member such as a social worker; the social worker ensures the issue is handled to the patient’s satisfaction. If the resident is not contented with the solution, he/she can follow further steps (LSEM, 2013). The facility has a robust and efficient complaints procedure; it also provides an opportunity for the patient to make constructive suggestions on how to cater for their individual needs.
The environment in the facility has a significant impact on the residents’ well-being. Life in a retirement home will provide a conducive and safe environment for Mrs. Willis to engage in a variety of activities. Most facilities are structured and designed to offer family-like care. It ensures sections for privacy and social areas for interaction. The design and layout of the environment also caters for special need such as the use of wheelchairs. Subsequently, residents suffering from variations of visual impairment receive specific designs and features needed in negotiating the environment. The facility must provide for individual needs of the residents; thus, the physical character of the facility varies in accordance to the residents’ needs (Local Government Association, 2013).
Retirement homes hire personnel who have the training and adequate experience in identifying and catering for the needs of various residents. The staff is the primary provider of individual and collective services within the facility. Placing Mrs. Willis in a facility will ensure she has access to enough personnel; they will help in meeting her needs. It is better than living alone and having to cater for her own needs. The staff members in the facility undergo selection according to outlined standards (Wild, Szczepura & Nelson, 2010). They work in relation to the varying needs presented by the residents; this means that there will be several staff members able to understand and cater for Mrs. Willis’ varying needs. The staff members undergo regular evaluation procedures to ensure they have enough knowledge on care provision. The staff also upholds the residents’ rights and ensures the maintenance of their dignity, respect and privacy within the facility (Wild, Szczepura & Nelson, 2010).
Management and Administration
Last but not least, Mrs. Willis will benefit from the efficiency of management and administration present in retirement homes. Effective processes in the provision of services depend on management skills. It ensures the observation of policies, standards, regulations and objectives by staff and other persons within the facility. According to Department of health (2003), every service provider must be responsible for his/her actions and ensure the meeting of residents’ needs.
They ensure the outcome of the services provided is high quality. Mrs. Willis will thus be safe from self-inflicted injuries and many other risks. At the home, she can be observed frequently; this ensures she stays in a safe environment and interact with other people her age. Unlike her lonely life at home with her cat, moving to a retirement home provides productive and necessary change. She will access the services of various personnel catering for her needs; they will also ensure she is safe and away from dangerous circumstances. Life in a high quality facility provides a conducive environment where the residents’ social, medical, physical, emotional, cognitive and nutritional needs can be met. All the factors listed above contribute towards the provision of safe and quality services for Mrs. Willis at the facility; these are services she would not have otherwise acquired at her home, living alone.
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Wild, D., Szczepura, A. and Nelson, S. 2010, Residential care home workforce development: the rhetoric and reality of meeting older residents’ future care needs. Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Viewed March 18, 2014: < http://www.jrf.org.uk/sites/files/jrf/care-home-staff-development-full.pdf >