Because of physical limitations or chronic illnesses nursing home residents cannot live independently and a nursing home, although it can be clean and comfortable, is not home. Leaving home and giving up independent living is very upsetting for most people. In many cases the situation is permanent. Nursing home residents have the right to an environment that is as close to a home environment as possible, and one that allows for as much independence as possible.
There are limitations that prevent a nursing home from being identical to someone’s place of residence but a nursing home can be made to feel home-like. Medicare and other agencies make specific recommendations about the environment and living condition of nursing homes. For example, Medicare notes that these facilities should:
There are requirements and Medicare has several publications discussing this topic, i.e., Medicare Coverage of Skilled Nursing Facility Care, available online at www.medicare.gov/publications/pubs/pdf/10153.pdf. A CNA has responsibility to help maintain the residents’ rights in this area. Simple interventions that can be done include: