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IP English Essay (Nursing Home)

IP Essay on Nursing home Elderly

What are the advantages and disadvantages of placing one’s family member in a nursing home?

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Today, many households are very busy, and only a very small minority of households have someone free to look after children and elderly parents. Coupled with the rise in the elderly population worldwide, the said trend has led to a boom in the nursing home business. This has had advantages, but we also have to note that putting our relatives in nursing homes also has its pitfalls and shortcomings.


POINT (Very General):

Putting our relatives in nursing homes is better as professionals and highly-trained aides would know how to care for them.


Common people do not know how to render the correct care to them, and this knowledge gap is even more pronounced when compared to professional-grade caregivers. Many countries have long established qualification, accreditation and registration frameworks for these care workers.


Nurses in Singapore’s nursing homes need to have reputable qualifications and be accredited by the Singapore Nursing Board before they are allowed to practise. Singapore’s nurses are also among the best in Southeast Asia, and nursing homes here are designed to such exacting standards.


The layperson does not have the professional qualifications like the nurses and is unlikely to provide the holistic patient care that an elderly needs. This, therefore, shows us that in most Singapore nursing homes, the needs of the elderly are put first. We can thus safely entrust our relatives to such paid care outlets.


It is therefore arguable that an advantage of nursing homes is in the professional skills of its staff.


POINT (Very General):

Another advantage of nursing homes is their access to resources and technology.


Many nursing homes partner with governments and community healthcare institutions and have dietitians on their payroll to help manage old folks’ health and food issues.


Orange Valley nursing home in Singapore signed an agreement with Life Medic to help manage its healthcare supplies. Other nursing homes have full-time medical doctors to attend to the residents’ health problems.


Hence, with their industry partnerships, nursing homes today arguably offer better healthcare for the elderly residents, rather than having someone in the household who attempts to manage the elderly person’s multifaceted health issues.


It is indisputable that in the technological era, nursing homes have an added advantage.


POINT (Very General):

A disadvantage of nursing homes is that there is a lack of familiarity in it.


In nursing homes, one is removed from the familiarities and surroundings of his or her abode (the place where someone lives). He or she is instead placed in a communal environment, sharing a ward with other old folks.


Singapore’s nursing homes operate on the communal model, with the Ministry of Health refusing to subsidise the Jade Circle’s nursing home concept until communal wards were added. However, the single- and double-bedded model could be better.


This thus shows that those who end up in nursing homes run a higher risk of succumbing (giving) to loneliness because of the communal model.


Nursing homes, therefore, have a serious disadvantage in their isolating effect.


POINT (Very General):

The residents in nursing homes could be susceptible (prone) to abuse by staff.


The cases of abuse have been rampant ((of something bad) getting worse quickly and in an uncontrolled way) and range from simple kicking and punching to poisoning and murder. We cannot be placing blind trust in such paid care institutions.


Elizabeth Wettlaufer killed 7 patients with insulin at a Canadian care home from 2007 to 2016. She was apprehended and sentenced to life imprisonment. In Singapore, Bernardo Ramos punched and injured an elderly man in a nursing home in 2018. He was sent to prison for 12 weeks.


The case of Nurse Bernardo Ramos is not just unique to Singapore’s context but such egregious (extremely bad in a way that is very noticeable) abuses have also happened in Canada, underlining the dangers we must accept should we place our loved ones in nursing homes.


Therefore, families who place their aged loved ones in a nursing home run the risk of seeing them being physically abused.


In a nutshell/ For the foregoing reasons mentioned, we are going to see a pent-up demand for nursing home services in the future. As more embrace the outsourcing of care to these providers, we must weigh the maximum benefit of such services while remaining ever-vigilant to the disadvantages of nursing homes. On a personal note, the exacting (high) demands of work are overwhelming for many Singaporeans and the costs of living in Singapore are undeniably exorbitant, hence sending one’s relatives to a nursing home is a win-win situation where they can receive holistic patient-care services and their psychological and health needs are attended to by fully-fledged doctors and nurses while we continue to advance in our career trajectory.

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