When you hear about a senior health care center, or skilled nursing facility, what do you think of? Some people automatically think about the “nursing home” they visited their grandmother at decades ago and can’t help but crinkle their nose. Fortunately, today’s health care communities are nothing like the nursing homes of yesterday. In fact, most health care communities are a mix of hotel-like hospitality and a clinical hospital setting, giving residents the support they need in a community that feels warmer and cozier than a hospital.
We’re here to tell you some of the most common myths about health care communities that we hear, as well as the reality of what really happens in skilled nursing communities like Village Health Care at The Glen.
5 myths about health care communities:
Myth #1: Health Care Residents Aren’t Active.
The myth of residents sleeping in wheelchairs in the hallways of a nursing home is simply untrue today. Instead, residents are quite active, participating in onsite physical, occupational, and speech therapy in addition to entertaining family visitors and squeezing in group crafts classes or an exercise class. There is always an available activity at a health care community and residents have the chance to participate in any opportunity they feel up to.
Myth #2: The food is bland and boring.
Health care food is nothing like the boring hospital food you might be thinking of. In the past decade, there has been a push in the senior living industry to focus more on fresh, seasonal foods that taste great and that meet dietary recommendations. You’ll find health care communities offering a diverse menu to residents so they can decide what sounds good to eat at the next meal or snack.
Myth #3: People live in health care facilities and never leave.
Health care communities offer services and support for long-term residents and for short-term residents. It’s common for an active adult to reside in a health care community for a few weeks or months to recuperate fully before returning home after a surgery or hospital stay. Thanks to therapy services to help them get stronger and nursing services to help manage any pain or infections, these short-term residents get to go home feeling their best. The right short-term stay can significantly reduce the risk of returning to the hospital due to going home too early.
Residents also can stay at health care communities for the long-term. These adults need skilled nursing support in order to stay healthy, and they quickly make their health care community home. You’ll find long-term residents serving on committees like Resident Council, participating in community events, and forming meaningful relationships with the team members who work there.
Myth #4: Health care communities are short-staffed.
While it is common for some health care agencies, including hospitals and clinics, to operate with fewer staff members than they would like, health care communities are full of qualified individuals with hearts for serving older adults. You’ll find therapists, social workers, nurses, nursing assistants, dining staff, activity staff, housekeepers, maintenance staff, and more in any health care community. Each team member goes above and beyond for the residents that live there.
Myth #5: Health care communities feel like a hospital.
Today’s modern health care communities don’t feel like a hospital at all. While the communities offer skilled nursing services, they are designed to feel softer than a cold, clinical setting. You’ll find warm lighting, access to the outside, and recreation areas in a health care community.