The New York Times ran an interesting article on October 31st titled ‘A Nursing Home Shrinks Until It Feels Like a Home’.   The article describes nursing homes that are called, ‘Green Houses’.  The concept is designed to provide care to about 10 residents in a setting that is nothing like a traditional nursing home, but more like an actual home.  The article paints a picture of one Green House in this description:

“The front door opens onto a large living and dining area; on one side is a hearth surrounded by upholstered chairs, and on the other is a long communal dining table where meals are served.  An open kitchen faces the table, so caregivers can chat with elderly resident while preparing meals.”1

What’s interesting to us in this article is that families are clearly recognizing how institutionalized care can be hard on their loved ones, and in a sense are paying for a nursing home that is more like their own home.  What families should realize is that with affordable 24 hour care and regular doctor visits they can get the same level of care in their own home with private duty caregivers like we provide here at Sevens Home Care.  It’s certainly noble for these entrepreneurs to provide a more home like setting since institutionalized care is plagued by “Loneliness, helplessness and boredom…”1 but aren’t they missing what is arguably the most important point of why many individuals aren’t happy in nursing homes or scared to go in the first place? The unhappiness and fear is because no matter how hard they try it’s not home!  Reducing the size of the facility, providing more consistent staff and flexible schedules might make things seem better but it’s still putting lipstick on a pig.  One example is the following quote from the article:

“I used to feel like my hands were tied. I had to get the elders out of bed at a certain time, even if they didn’t want to,” she said. “Now if someone doesn’t want to get out of bed for breakfast one day, I’ll bring her a milkshake.”1

Is this the type of benefit we are reduced to accepting for our loved ones? After all the hard work and years of their lives a benefit to their care is waking up when they want to?  That’s improving care? Giving them attention and a milkshake is an improvement over the nursing home status quo? Home care has always provided this.  Home care will always be the better alternative for making a loved one feel comfortable.   There is no half way, or better more ‘home’ like Nursing Home.  Home is home.  Period.

Certainly many people don’t realize how affordable home care can be and how using your Medicare benefits combined with a customized care plan can help give your loved one the nursing home needs within in your own residence but the option is available.  At Sevens Home Care, we have hands on, highly qualified CNA care that can be offered for as little as $10.83 an hour!

Read the full article here.

1Tarkan, Laurie (2011, October 31). A Nursing Home Shrinks Until It Feels Like a Home. The New York Times on the Web. Retrieved October 31, 2011, from http://nyti.ms/tqyJM3.