Why Are Nursing Homes an Ineffective Care Solution?

Updated on June 23, 2020

There are many options available for the care of the elderly, but nursing homes can be a poor care solution that leads to several issues. Nursing home residents suffering abuse and neglect is one obvious problem, but there are other risks like contracting diseases and serious endangerment. 

The last thing you want to happen is any form of mistreatment for your loved one. Nursing homes are meant to be a safe place, but they can quickly become the opposite if conditions aren’t maintained.

You should fully understand the complications with nursing homes so that you can avoid selecting the wrong one for your older parent or grandparent when the time is right. We’ll go over these below to help you make the right choice of senior citizen care.

What Are Nursing Homes Used For?

First, you’ll need to know what nursing homes are intended for. 

A nursing home exists to provide medical care to elderly patients. This concept is extremely useful and should serve as a good option for families that just don’t have the means to care for a senior citizen 24/7.

Realistically, most families can’t provide round-the-clock care for an older family member that needs it. You likely need to work and may have children that come first.

Regardless of the circumstances, a viable solution is needed for the elderly when their family can’t care for them and medical assistance is frequently required. This is where the idea of a nursing home is meant to bridge the gap.

Nursing homes are a stripped-down version of a hospital. Nurses are available at all hours of the day and therapy is a major focus for these establishments. The biggest difference compared to a hospital is the lack of doctors and manpower resources.

Because of this, nursing homes quickly fall into the trap of doing more harm than good. 

Why Do They Have a Poor Reputation?

Not all nursing homes are the same and some do an excellent job of caring for their residents.

On the flip side of this, some do an extremely bad job of caring for residents and this is what gives nursing homes a poor reputation

There are a few main reasons why this tends to be the case. This includes inadequate staffing and disinterested caregivers.

Many nursing homes simply don’t have enough qualified nurses available to care for all of their residents. Every patient staying at one has unique needs and it can be difficult for the facility to properly treat everyone

For example, you might have one patient suffering from Alzheimer’s and another struggling with Parkinson’s. Both ailments are quite different and require different treatment for the individual patient.

Furthermore, the nurses that do work at nursing homes are often underpaid, undertrained, and frequently have little supervision. This creates an environment where nurses are highly dissatisfied with working conditions and may unintentionally (or intentionally in some situations) take this out on the very patients that need them.

Are Nursing Homes Safe?

Putting all of this together, the important question is whether a nursing home is a safe choice for your older family member needing special care.

The answer to this is that it ultimately depends. We mentioned above that not all nursing homes are the same and this is where the problem lies.

Some facilities are excellent and provide world-class care for their patients. These nursing homes are a great solution and can greatly improve your loved one’s quality of life.

On the other hand, problematic establishments that lack adequate resources and have disgruntled staff will only lead to disaster. These are the nursing homes that you need to avoid at all costs because they may neglect or abuse the person that you’re only trying to help.

With this in mind, you need to be scrupulous as you look at nursing home options. Be extremely thorough in the questions that you ask, research you complete, and any personal investigation that you conduct.

This is not a perfect solution and you can never be fully positive that you’re making a good decision. Try and speak to any friends you know and see if they have recommendations for a good facility. 

Additionally, make sure to physically visit the establishment yourself and make sure that it’s clean, the staff is friendly, and that residents seem in good spirits. Doing this will give you the best chance of securing beneficial care for your elderly family member in need.

Closing Thoughts

Nursing homes exist to provide care for older citizens with medical needs, but sometimes this effort falls short.

Some nursing home facilities lack resources and this can lead to neglect, abuse, and overall inadequate care. This is the last thing your beloved parent or grandparent should have to deal with in their time of need.

Every nursing home is a little different, which means that some establishments do right by their patients. These are the facilities that you need to search for if you want the best care for your elderly family member.

Remember to perform a thorough investigation and be 100% positive that the nursing home you decide on is a safe and reputable choice. Your decision can make a drastic difference in the overall quality of life and care that your loved one experiences during their later years.


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