There are estimated to be around 15,600 nursing homes in America. These facilities provide a wide range of treatments for their elderly residents that may include a mixture of both medical interventions and activities or equipment that is designed to improve physical and mental well-being. Elderly people often enter a nursing home when they find that they can no longer cope in their home environment. This can be because of having sustained injuries as the result of falls (potentially fracture injuries such as a broken leg or hip).
In such circumstances, the elderly patient may enter the nursing home to undergo a period of rehabilitation, before being transferred back to their home environment, if they are deemed safe to do so. Depending on the nursing home, there may be specialist staff on site who can provide high-quality care to patients with severe forms of memory loss, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and other forms of dementia. This article explores three common treatments in nursing homes.
For Dysphagia Patients
Many patients may be transferred to nursing homes after they experience a stroke. This can be because of not fully recovering from the medical emergency and having problems relating to mobility or memory that require further treatment. One common side effect in stroke survivors is that they may suffer from difficulties in swallowing. This medical condition is known as dysphagia. Dysphagia patients may require supervision and assistance when eating and drinking. Thankfully, there are food products available, such as those from the Simply Thick organization, that can be used to thicken beverages and pureed food. When this food and drink is thickened, it becomes far easier to swallow, and consumption can take place with a lower risk of choking.
In older age, a person’s mobility may decline significantly. This can be because of lower levels of physical activity that cause muscle wastage and loss of bone density over time. In severe cases, this can lead to an increased risk of falls and serious injuries as a result. Senior citizens often come to care and nursing homes after sustaining injuries from falls. Often, they will receive a full mobility assessment. Which will allow care professionals to determine what types of mobility aids they need to stay safe when moving around. Common mobility aids include Zimmer frames for moderate mobility issues. Mobility scooters for elderly patients who cannot move around without full assistance.
Some nursing home patients have problems relating to memory or general cognitive functions. One example of this is patients who are suffering from forms of dementia. Which can cause severe memory problems, and can make a person unsafe to stay in their own homes. Often, dementia patients may forget important facts in their daily lives. This can cause danger when preparing a hot meal, if they forget to turn the cooker off,or in other ways. Such as forgetting to lock their front door at night. Nursing homes may look to alternative forms of therapy to improve the cognitive functions of patients with memory problems. One effective form of this is music therapy. Where a patient listens to familiar music, and recollects how it shaped their life. Used correctly, this form of therapy can help to restore some of the cognitive functions of elderly residents.