Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are facilities that specialize in providing 24-hour medical care to older adults who can no longer take care of themselves. They provide services such as giving medication, help using the bathroom, eating, dressing and bathing. Many of the nursing home patients have difficulties in walking and need assistance from the nursing home staff.

The nursing home staff is made up of nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists and social workers; doctors are also on call. Nursing homes in the United States and other industrialized countries provide long-term and personal care for patients usually over the age of 65. With the need for more nursing homes, it is projected that the number of nurses will need to increase by 66 percent.

In the United States, nursing home facilities date back to the start of the 20th century. Without the support of the national government seniors were placed in almshouses and poor farms. The living conditions in these facilities were horrible.

Residents in a nursing home are described as a group falling in between: people who are not sick enough to be in a hospital but are not healthy enough to remain at home. There are some older people who are able to care for themselves right up until they die. However, many will have no choice but to be placed in a nursing home.

Residents for the most part are over 65 but there are some younger adults with mental and physical disabilities. The majority of nursing home residents are females.

The U.S. Congress created the Government Accountability Office (GAO) under the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921. Since that time it has conducted several studies on nursing homes. In 2006 2.8 million people lived in nursing homes, both short and long term. As the first of the "baby boomers" (people born between 1946 and 1964) turn 65, these numbers are expected to increase. Based on current statistics it is estimated that by 2030 five million people will need nursing home care.

Six percent of the nation's overall healthcare spending goes to nursing home care. Government spending reached a high of $125 billion in 2006 on nursing home care. Heath care providers and patients have shown an interest in the cost-efficiency of nursing home services. Because of the aging population, research has focused on nursing homes.

There is an increasing need for more nursing homes in the United States and around the world. Two population studies conducted in the United States and Great Britain show the following: From the beginning of the 20th century the average life expectancy increased from 47 years to over 70 years by the end of the century.

There has been a slower but steady growth in the number of older adults in Great Britain. Data shows that people aged 65 and over constituted 13.2 percent of the population in 1971, 15 percent in 1981, and 15.8 percent in 1993. The percentages have been projected to increase to 19.4 in 2021 and 24.6 in 2041. The 65-and-over age group has seen the most dramatic increase. In 1971 2.3 percent of the population was 80 and above. By 1993 it was 3.9 percent and the numbers are expected to rise to 9.2 percent by 2051.

The nursing home industry in general has a poor image. Efforts are being made to change the image with improvements and makeovers. The rejuvenation of the nursing home began in the 1980s, culminating with the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987. The Good Samaritan Society, working to improve conditions and the image of nursing homes, brought a group of industry leaders together. They were successful in making positive changes for both staff and patients. They waged a campaign for nursing homes to start keeping track of their progress. The campaign is trying to sign up all of the 16,000 nursing homes in the United States.

Nursing Homes: Selected full-text books and articles

Geriatric Residential Care By Robert D. Hill; Brian L. Thorn; John Bowling; Anthony Morrison Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2002
Transforming Nursing Homes into . . . Homes? By Nussbaumer, Linda L.; Rowland, Les Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, Vol. 99, No. 4, November 2007
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Humanism in Nursing Homes: The Impact of Top Management By Castle, Nicholas G.; Ferguson, Jamie C.; Hughes, Kevin Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, Vol. 31, No. 4, Spring 2009
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Strategies for Therapy with the Elderly: Living with Hope and Meaning By Claire M. Brody; Vicki G. Semel Springer, 2006 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Part II "Nursing Homes"
Home and Identity in Late Life International Perspectives By Graham D. Rowles; Habib Chaudhury Springer, 2005
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 12 "The Image of Nursing Homes and Its Impact on the Meaning of Home for Elders"
Enhancing Relationships in Nursing Homes through Empowerment. (Practice Update) By Ingersoll-Dayton, Berit; Schroepfer, Tracy; Pryce, Julia; Waarala, Carol Social Work, Vol. 48, No. 3, July 2003
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Characterizing Organizational Spirituality: An Organizational Communication Culture Approach By Sass, James S Communication Studies, Vol. 51, No. 3, Fall 2000
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
One Last Pleasure? Alcohol Use among Elderly People in Nursing Homes By Klein, Waldo C.; Jess, Carol Health and Social Work, Vol. 27, No. 3, August 2002
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Making Room for Dying: End of Life Care in Nursing Homes By Johnson, Sandra H The Hastings Center Report, Vol. 35, No. 6, November-December 2005
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Watching out for Grandma: Video Cameras in Nursing Homes May Help to Eliminate Abuse By Kohl, Tracey Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 30, No. 6, September 2003
Regulation of Assisted Living Facilities: State Policy Trends By Mollica, Robert L Generations, Vol. 21, No. 4, Winter 1998
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