The Nursing Home Stigma

Families of our patients often have a negative view on nursing homes. This is always going to be a stigma in our industry, but I like to think about the little ways I can help ease that issue. One such way is to consider and spend time with the other perspective. I’ve been reading the revised version of Janice M. Blanchard’s book “Aging in Community” from 2013.

This book openly argues against nursing homes and tries to pioneer a new way of “aging in place” by suggesting ways to cohabit with other seniors. This has a focus on neighborly help and care rather than skilled care. The description reads “Because many [baby boomers] have watched their parents struggle to stay in their family homes or saw them wither away in nursing homes—lonely, bored, and often helpless—they are determined to find a better way.”

So, with that last line as it is, I have a few questions to ask myself and other leaders in this business:

  1. What can we do to emphasize that care and community go hand-in-hand?
  2. How can we show the families of our patients, and our patients themselves, that SNF’s can be that “better way” for their lives?
  3. What changes do I need to make to the community my home provides?

I think these three questions are ones that we all constantly ask, and it’s exactly why I take time like this to think about the solutions rather than staying bogged down by my day-to-day work. My goal this month is to find one small way to bring quality care and the message of community together. I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas – send me a message on Facebook or Twitter.