Nursing Homes Create Isolation And Borders Essay

Length: 8 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Health Type: Essay Paper: #81376695
Excerpt from Essay :

Nursing homes and facilities that are somewhat less restrictive are needed and necessary in some situations so as to allow for the proper level of care and supervision. However, the isolation and removal from the outside world that people experience as a result of being in a nursing home can be oppressive and hurtful. There are often times where temporary jaunts outside of the nursing home or fun activities within the same can allow for relief from monotony and so forth. However, advanced medical conditions like Alzheimer's, infectious diseases and bacterial/hygiene issues can all aggravate the isolation just mentioned as there have to be more restrictions on freedom and activity.

Nursing Home Isolation

Other than the obvious concerns about medical care, quality of life and so forth, perhaps one of the most saddening things about seniors being in nursing homes is the isolation and "border" that is created by the outside walls of said nursing home. Indeed, nursing home patients are confined to the inside of the building that they inhabit in many cases. Even when they are allowed to move around outside at all, supervised or not, there are restrictions on where they can do, when they can go and so forth. This report shall explore the loneliness and isolation that exists with nursing home patients and both primary and secondary sources shall be used to describe the same. While there is necessity and need associated with confining senior adults to nursing homes, there are a number of tradeoffs and negative effects that cannot be denied or, for the most part, avoided.

Analysis

Social isolation of any sort is typically not a good thing. Humans are, by nature and biology, social creatures and any forced limitations put on the same can be soul-crushing and harmful in many ways. This is precisely the issue found in nursing homes. However, the people that are relegated to nursing homes are typically there for a reason. It has been determined by family and/or medical professionals that their mental and/or physical health precludes them from being able to live on their own and there are not viable alternatives other than the nursing home itself, whether they be financial- or medical-related. Coming back to the social isolation aspect in particular, one primary study consulted for this report looked at precisely this and the authors of the study...

...

To be more specific, they compared people in a nursing home environment with people that had freedom of movement and travel in the general public. What was found after multiple regression analysis is that there are certain social behaviors and reactions that are created by social isolation and these events are more prominent with nursing home residents given that their confinement in the nursing home is often not voluntary or wanted (Carstensen). Even with that, there is also primary research that proves that there are ways to mitigate such anxiety and other negative effects. Indeed, even if there is a firm "border" involved when it comes o nursing homes, there is a lot that can be done within those borders that still allows for a life that is enriching, fun and otherwise enjoyable. This progress is through the use of technology. This can take on many forms including the ability to connect via phone or internet to people on the outside including relatives, friends or even residents of other nursing homes that the patient might know. There is also the use of things like video games. This sort of thing engages the residents, keeps them active, reduces falls and otherwise improves their quality of life and the enjoyment of the same (Oliver, Demiris and Hensel)

As with many things, there are certain situations where even novel ideas and tricks cannot overcome the borders that the patients cannot cross. In some cases, there can be borders within borders in a nursing home. One example would be a patient that has dementia or Alzheimer's and is thus not of sound mind. Their movement has to be restricted as their concept of self-preservation is simply not there, if it ever was. Another example would be if a patient is stricken with MRSA, which is shot for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The staph bacteria is bad enough but MRSA is worse because it is drug-resistant. As such, people that are stricken with that bacteria need to be isolated so as to prevent the spread to other people. This goes double in a nursing home as the people in said homes are much more likely to get sick and succumb to the same as compared to people that are of normal age and health. A third and final related example would be people with certain infectious diseases. For the same reasons as MRSA (and other bugs like it), isolation within isolation is not uncommon because no chances can be taken when it comes to those bacterial or viral strains spreading to other people within the facility. There are some ways to help transcend these situations and minimize the further isolation involved. However, there are also certain protocols that should not be violated for health and sanitation reasons (Washio et al.)

Part of the problem, though, when it comes to borders and nursing homes and the associated isolation is the talk and speech about the subject. While there are some valid concerns about nursing homes and the isolation that comes with it, a lot of what is said is bluster and is truly not fair. Beyond that, nursing homes and such exist for a reason and that is because…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited -- Annotated

Carstensen, Laura L., and William J. Fremouw. "The Influence Of Anxiety And Mental Status

On Social Isolation Among The Elderly In Nursing Homes." Behavioral Residential

Treatment 3.1 (1988): 63-80. Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection. Web. 29

Nov. 2016.


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