What Is a Nursing Home?
Many people use the term ‘nursing home’ as a generic name for a care home, and the reason for the confusion is understandable, with the vast number of names, terms, and jargon surrounding the care home industry.
To put it simply, a nursing home does the same job as a residential care home in offering 24-hour support to residents, but with the added benefit of having registered nurses on site who can provide medical care to those who might require it.
Nursing homes are typically occupied by residents who require regular nursing care services such as medical attention or have severe disabilities and may require round-the-clock assistance.
So, what should residents expect from a nursing care home, and what are the benefits? Perhaps you’re looking into care home options for a loved one or feel this may be required in the future. We explore these questions, among other aspects of nursing homes below.
Benefits of Nursing Homes
There are many similarities between a nursing home and a residential care home, such as a private bedroom, communal facilities, and activities, but with the added advantage of registered nurses on site.
Nursing home residents will have access to many beneficial services such as:
- Help with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and housekeeping.
- Stimulation and socialisation of being among other like-minded residents.
- Delicious meals, prepared with nutrition and health benefits in mind.
- Safety and security with added equipment, such as grab bars and safety alarms.
- Specialised healthcare on-site, with the assistance of medical professionals to administer medication and provide health support.
Many care homes offer a multitude of services and support options, so if you think nursing care may be required later down the line, it may be a good idea to research residential care homes that also offer a nursing service.
Services Nursing Homes Offer to Residents
Just some of the care registered nurses are available to provide within nursing homes are:
- Manage complex medical programmes
- Wound care
- Complex catheter care
- Nutritional support through a PEG
- Have access to specialist equipment such as hoists, specialist chairs and stand aids.
This is, of course, not a comprehensive list of what a nursing home can provide, but it gives a good understanding of the huge range of support a nursing care team are able to provide.
What are the Alternatives to Nursing Care Homes?
There are a variety of other care services available to those seeking care homes. These include:
Each of the types of care homes will offer different services, such as specific dementia care, short-term respite care, and standard residential care homes.
What type of care home you choose will be dependent on your specific circumstances and the type of care services you require.
There is, of course, the alternative option of remaining in your family home and having carers visit to provide care multiple times a day. However, should the amount of care required increase, then moving into a nursing care home may be the more suitable option, with access to qualified nurses and medical care 24 hours a day.
When Is a Nursing Home Needed?
It can be an incredibly emotional and challenging time when it comes to deciding whether it’s right to move a loved one into a nursing home. However, it’s important to recognise the signs that in-depth care might be required to provide the best quality of life for your loved one.
Some key indicators that a nursing home is required are:
- Disability or illness has progressed to the point that their safety is at risk
- Family and friends are unable to meet the needs
- Nursing home is more affordable than paying for at-home services
- Loved one is having difficulty bathing or dressing themselves
- Struggling to remember or self-administer medication
If you are noticing any of the above, or have any other concerns about the health, safety, and wellbeing of your loved one, it may be a good idea to get in touch with the GP to discuss the level of care required, before investigating care home services and options.
Choosing a Nursing Home
If you’re looking at moving a loved one into a nursing home, it won’t have been a quick or easy decision. The next step will be researching which nursing home is best.
There are many things to consider, such as facilities, location and services provided.
Avery has an extensive portfolio of care homes across the UK, offering a range of different care services.