Five Nursing Home Myths Debunked

Marla DeVries of Mission Health Services, will debunk some of the common myths offer a dose of reality.

Myth #1: Nursing homes are all the same and like hospitals.

Reality: Saying all nursing homes are the same is like saying all families are the same. For example, Mission Health Services nursing homes are “care communities” made up of unique individuals – residents, staff, and family members. While there are certain commonalities with nursing homes, as with families, they are unique because of the community that is created by the people (residents, staff, and family members). Mission Health Services seeks to honor the uniqueness of all individuals. In addition, community living has a much different feel than a temporary stay in a hospital. Nursing homes can offer meaningful activities to keep residents engaged in the community, and interacting with one another. And as neighbors, residents often form lasting friendships.

Myth #2: The people who live in nursing homes are all dying.

Reality: Most nursing homes provide both long-term care and short-term care. The long-term care is for residents, while short-term care provides assistance for people who are recovering from an illness, injury or surgery and require rehabilitation. So while a move to a nursing home may be permanent for some people, many others return home once they have sufficiently recovered. Whether in long or short-term setting nursing homes provide a higher level of care than is available at home.

Myth #3: Nursing homes are places where residents are kept inside with strangers -playing Bingo.

Reality: Many nursing homes (such as Mission Health Services) embrace opportunities for variety and spontaneity within their communities. Nursing homes can be a place where children are regular visitors, building relationships with residents. Additionally, animals may either live in some nursing homes or are frequent visitors. Yes, many nursing homes do have bingo and many of the residents enjoy the game. However, many other activities and events occur throughout the day – both large and small group activities of the residents choosing. Examples include afternoon tea with a few friends from the neighborhood; working in the garden or simply teaching a staff member how to crochet.

Myth #4: Meals and food are bland and bad.

Reality: Many nursing home dietary staff are not only experts at preparing appetizing meals for residents, they use creativity and mastery to provide fresh home-cooked caliber meals. Meal schedules are flexible and staff is willing to accommodate resident choices and dietary restrictions at Mission Health Services.

Myth #5: Nursing home residents have limited rights.

Reality: Nursing home residents retain all of their legal rights once they move in. In addition, federal law has established a Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights. Mission Health Services is committed to resident-centered decision-making. More and more nursing homes are recognizing the need to address residents’ needs in a more holistic manner, and in a way that honors their dignity and preferences. This includes empowering residents with more options and autonomy in setting their own schedules.

For more information about Mission Health Services go to or call 877-531-6177.

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