Nursing homes or Elderly care Centers

Nursing homes are a kind of residential care that provide 24/7 health care and medical facilities to elderly people. Nursing homes also provide rehabilitative stays after a major illness, surgery or injuries which need physical or occupational therapy. Nursing homes also provide other planned and house keeping services. Several nursing homes also provide memory care services or have a separate area specified for memory care.


The concept of care homes dates back to 17th century in UK. The first government steps to provide basic care to elderly and infirm took place with the New Poor Law of 1834. The New Poor Law led to the creation of workhouses. The doors of workhouses were open for all unemployed mentally ill, poor and orphan elderly people. These workhouses gave shelter and food to the old people. Despite the criticism they face the work houses were established till the start of 20th century.

One solid base for criticism was condition of work houses due to lack of funding and proper space. Later the poor houses were replaced by a new type of residential living place for elderly known as board and care homes. These care homes worked till mid of the 1930’s. The Local Government Act of 1929 gave power to local governments to take over workhouses. It was no until the National Assistant Act of 1948 and workhouses disappear.

Nursing Centers UK
Nursing Centers UK (Credits: Ayesha Gulzar UK)

After this law workhouses took the shape of Nursing homes or care centers as it is present today. The dynamics of nursing homes have been changed since 1950. Health care facilities and registered nurses have been an essential part of care provided to elderly people. The quality of nursing care steadily improved with the mandatory introduction of central heating, single rooms and lavatories. In the 1980’s a significant change from public private-sector provision of elderly homes occurred. It resulted in increase in proportion of private facilities from 18% in 1985 to 85% by the end of the century.

There is a concern that the fees paid to the care centers are not adequate to provide proper facilities to the residents. The rising cost of care is far more than the fees paid by the council. Therefore, a number of care centers and nursing homes are closing. Those which are working are not up to the mark in terms of facilities. Professor Martin Green of “Care England,” requested the Government to take urgent steps regarded g the funding of Nursing homes and care centers. See details of National Health Service of United Kingdom.

Regulating bodies of care homes

Care Commission England is the regulating and inspecting body for care homes in England. Each care home is inspected every three years. In Wales it is the Care Standard Inspectorate for Wales which is regulating the care homes. Social Care and Social Work Improvement in Scotland and the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority in Northern Ireland are the governing bodies in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively. See best health insurance plans to buy for year 2018 in US.

The Coalition government announced the formation of an independent commission on the funding of long term care in May 2010. It was formed due to a report within a 12-month time frame on the financing of care centers for an Ageing population. The recommendations were delivered on 4th July 2011. A re-registration system has been implemented by Care quality Commission completed in October 2010 which resulted in a new form of regulation outlined in April 2011.

Means Testing 

The cost of an elderly nursing home is means tested in England. The lower capital limit is £ 13500 till April 2009. At this income level, all income from savings, pensions, insurance benefits except personal expenses allowances goes towards paying the care home fees. The council pays the remaining bills considering the fact that the room occupied should not be too expensive. The room expense should be within the council’s normal rate. The responsibility of funding for placements of Care centers lies with the NHS provided that the residents meets the criteria for NHS continuing health care.

Nursing home  staff

In most jurisdictions the nursing homes are required to have an adequate staff to provide the proper care to residents. Basic staff of a nursing home includes registered nurses, health care workers, house keeping and administrative staff.


The administrative staff depends on the size of nursing home. It may include an executive director and a nursing home administrator. The duties of the administration are to supply medication, overseeing staff and handling financial matters. The administration head should at least possess a bachelors’ degree.


A registered nurse is a pivotal part of nursing homes. The duties of a nurse include implementing the health care plans, administrating medication, recording and maintaining medical records of the residents. They are also responsible for providing the directions to the assistant nurses. Both the registered nurse and the assistants should be highly professional and qualified.

Assistant Nurses

The duties of nursing assistant are to provide basic care to the residents. Nursing assistants work directly under the supervision of a registered nurse. The basic care activities are referred as activities of daily living. They include assisting with bathing, dressing, helping residents with meals, either serving or feeding them. Duties also include toileting, changing clothes, shifting from beds to wheelchair and answering call lights.

House keeping

Housekeepers are a very important part of nursing home staff. They play many important roles ensuring that the nursing homes are kept clean and free of disease producing germs. The basic duties of housekeeping are cleaning floors, changing linen, disinfecting bathrooms, changing towels, emptying garbage bins, sanitizing and dusting furniture. The general pattern of duties may vary from facility to facility, but the basic of all is cleaning. House keeping the job may not require a specific degree or schooling but a bit of experience is preferred at times. See how you can get erectile dysfunction treatment.

Psychological Supporters or Recreational staff

These are graduate staff further certified by National Therapeutic Council. Recreational staff are a kind of supporting staff helping the residents against the stressing condition of life. The sudden transition of life from being independent to dependent on others is oftentimes stressful and depressive for the residents. They need special care to overcome the loneliness and feeling of being away from home. Certain kind of activities are planned by the recreational staff to help the residents to combat this depression. Aim of activities is to meet residents emotional, psychological, intellectual, social and recreational needs. Activities are planned such as hosting birthdays, celebrating holidays, outdoor visits, exercise, art and craft work. Some literal treat is also organised at times for residents such as social debates, books’ club, religious services and community outings.


Volunteer involvement is also a very healthy and important part of nursing homes. Volunteers activities can act as a link between the nursing homes and outside community.

Therapies provided at the nursing homes.

There are various services provided at the nursing homes. Along with medical assistance the elderly residents are provided with basic speech, physical and occupational therapies.

Speech language therapy

Speech language therapy is one among the services provided at nursing homes. Speech pathologists are specialized professionals providing assistance to residents who have a difficult time with language or speech. It may result from a trauma, injury or an underlying diagnosis. The speech language pathologist commonly known as SLP evaluates the person’s speech. Most of the times the person with a difficulty in speech has an issue with coordinating muscles responsible to produce speech. The SLP also look for difficulty with swallowing food. He examines the patient and evaluates to figure out which part of muscles is not working in the swallowing process. SLPs help patients with Apraxia, Receptive language, Expressive language and many other disorders. See how to do year 2018 health goals revision.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is an important service found in nursing homes. Physical therapy may be necessary for proper healing following an injury, illness or surgery. Physical therapy helps the person in regaining strength, endurance, flexibility and motion. Physical therapy is also helpful in getting a better life style by increasing mobility, reducing pain, increasing muscle strength and improving overall health reaching to a point of independence. Among many medical problems such as arthritis, pain associated with cancer and Alzheimer’s disease and etc., physical therapy has proved to be very effective.

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy is another service found in nursing homes. Occupational therapy is necessary following an injury or illness to regain skills. Occupational therapy is also found helpful to receive support during any physical or cognitive disorder. Occupational therapy mainly focuses on activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing and grooming. Occupational therapy is also helpful in assisting in instrumental activities of daily living such as home and financial management and rest, sleep and leisure, education, play and social participation. When a cognitive and perceptual deficit is, present occupational therapists help the person by teaching strategies to maximize memory, sequencing and improving attention span length.

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