Nursing homes are places of residence for people who need constant nursing care and have trouble coping with the daily activities of life. Nurses and aides are usually available 24 hours a day. Residents may be elderly, or younger adults with mental or physical disabilities. Some nursing homes assist people with specialized needs, such as Alzheimer’s.
Before the Industrial Revolution, elderly care was mainly in the hands of the family, who would provide the care they needed. Private nursing homes began to be built in the 1930s as a consequence of the Great Depression and the Social Security Act of 1935. When Medicare was established in the United States in 1965, it established the building of public nursing homes.
The services of care residents may receive in nursing homes include:
- Occupational therapy: interventions for activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, grooming etc…), activities for education, rest and sleep, and social participation. It may also implement programs to prevent injury and improve the safety of residents.
- Physical therapy
- Nursing care: medical care and treatments, monitoring of medications, assisting with personal care.
- Chaplains: coordinating religious services.
- Activity assistants: planning and implementing holiday events, daily and weekly educational and social activities.