Is the Highest Possible Physical, Mental, and Psychosocial Well-Being of all Residents Provided in Nursing Homes?

Nursing homes, also called convalescent homes, are facilities for people, who require extra care, medical attention and assistance (specifically, in the performance of daily activities, such as eating, toileting, bathing and dressing), but who do not need to be in a hospital. To address the various needs of residents, nursing homes should have a registered nurse, a licensed nurse and trained nursing aides who are expected to attain and maintain the highest possible level of physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of all residents and patients.

In February 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had on record about 15,700 registered nursing home facilities in the U.S. These housed an estimated 1.4 million elder citizens, usually 65 years old or above, children and young adults who are physically or mentally incapacitated, or needing rehabilitative therapies due to an illness or an accident, and those who need extra care, like patients with Alzheimer or Parkinson’s disease.

Nursing homes guarantee provision of the highest level of care; however, beneath the friendly and warm welcome to arriving residents who are accompanied by family members, what is hidden can be painful experiences wrought by abuses and various forms of acts of neglect. Some examples of acts of neglect are non-provision of hygienic care, delay in treating or non-treatment of bedsores, failure to provide needed medical care or attention, denial of food and/or drinking water, delay in providing needed assistance, and so forth.

One must bear in mind that these acts of neglect are committed against individuals who are either too sick or too weak to defend themselves. In relation to this is the necessity to know that abuse or neglect in nursing homes can be a federal offense since both these acts are violations of the mandates of the Nursing Home Reform Act, which requires facilities receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds to provide services and activities that will help attain or maintain the highest possible physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of all residents in accordance with a written plan of care. This Act also says that residents should be free from corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion and all forms of abuses, including, but not limited to, verbal, physical, mental abuse, and sexual abuse.

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