In the United States, up to one-half of the citizens will spend at least a few years of their lives in a nursing home (Sugar, Riekse, Holstege, & Faber, 2013). These facilities are supposed to be a feasible solution for putting senior citizens inappropriate living conditions where they could be assisted with their daily needs. At the same time, nursing homes may lighten the burden of care off friends’ and family’s shoulders and prevent them from having burnout. In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion as to what requirements a nursing home should meet to allow for a dignified living. To acquire hands-on experience, I visited the Future Care nursing home in Baltimore City, Maryland, and in this paper, I will share my impressions and observations.
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At first glance, Future Care nursing home appears very welcoming and appealing. It is a three-story brick building situated in a picturesque location among green trees and meadows. The interior is warm, earthy colors complemented by stylish furniture, and panoramic windows provide an ambiance as cozy and hospitable as the exterior. From what I have seen, the residents of Future Care nursing home have a range of activities to choose from. During my visit, I observed senior citizens vividly conversing with each other, playing board games, and having fitness classes. After a quick tour, I had grown more curious about the workflow and particularities of enrolment, care, and discharge at the facility.
To gather necessary information, I consulted the official website of Future Care nursing home and talked to two nurses working there who were kind enough to discuss some details. I found it important to confirm whether the information available online was relevant and applied to that particular facility. As it turned out, all the facilities under the Future Care brand participated in such programs as Short Stay Rehabilitation after complex medical procedures, Orthopedic Rehabilitation, and Skilled Nursing. Some services were available only at a limited number of participating facilities. For instance, Future Care in Baltimore City offered HeartStrong, a cardiac rehabilitation program, and CAMPStrong, an amputation recovery program (“Frequently asked questions,” n.d.).
Admission to Future Care nursing home requires a patient or designated responsible party to meet with the admissions director to go over an admissions contract (“Frequently asked questions,” n.d.). This document complies with state-approved standards; apart from that, a patient or his or her legal guardian needs to include a driver’s license, social security card, and Medicare or other health insurance cards (“Frequently asked questions,” n.d.). Before signing the admissions contract, a patient can go on a guided tour around the facility. This activity is something that is encouraged by the administration as it helps potential customers to become familiar with the environment and figure if they would be comfortable spending time there.
Receiving treatment at Future Care nursing home does not imply any particular timeline. The total length of stay varies from patient to patient and depends on the severity of his or her situation. As the nurses reported, those who undergo rehabilitation after a surgical invasion or a traumatic event are typically discharged within two to three weeks. However, some patients may discover that they need additional, long-term treatment due to unexpected circumstances or subsequent medical conditions. In this case, a physician examines a patient and decides how much time meeting the new health objectives will take.
Sugar, J., Riekse, R. J., Holstege, H., & Faber, M. A. (2013). Introduction to aging: A positive, interdisciplinary approach. Berlin, Germany: Springer Publishing Company.