The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

Really Living in American Nursing Homes: The Experience of an Immigrant Employee


Source: Yandex Zen

Life in an American nursing home is not quite as pleasant and peaceful as it is shown in the movies, writes the author of the blog Art is an answer on Yandex Zen.

Photo: Shutterstock

There are people who believe that by placing their old people in a nursing home, they will do better for them. Let's be honest: it will most likely be better and easier for children and grandchildren. Others believe that if they bring their parents to a rich country closer to them, they get a job in a decent institution with free food and service, then life will improve. Is it so?

I have worked in the USA in an expensive private nursing home for 3 years and I know this whole kitchen well.

It was an institution in which 500 out of 70 people were Russians, in a department where 2-3 people were constantly "hospice", that is, near death, 5-6 were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's disease.

On the subject: Spouses have been living in a cave for 60 years without the benefits of civilization: how their life works

It was my job to run daily programs to stimulate activity and brain activity. My every day was scheduled by the hour: gymnastics or dancing, board games, music programs, visiting seriously ill patients, outdoor events.

Here are some facts from the everyday life of a nursing home in the United States:

  • None of the staff would like to be in the shoes of these people at the end of their lives.
  • Old people can wait 2 hours for someone to come up to them to help with the toilet, because there are at best 7 patients for every nanny. And several patients often need to visit the toilet at the same time.
  • Few of the staff will delve into what a person with difficulty speaking wants to eat or drink. And if in America you speak only Russian, then not everyone will understand what you need. Although the staff still knows a few words in Russian.
  • In America, staff are responsible for patient safety. Therefore, if there is a risk of falling, the staff will fix the elderly and prevent them from getting up. Sometimes a wheelchair is squeezed between a wall and a table, which prevents the elderly from moving.
  • If a person does not speak, then they treat him like an inanimate object with instructions on what needs to be done to maintain life.
  • Patients with aggressive behavior and mental illness are not kept in special institutions, so they live together with adequate ones. At night, unhealthy patients often enter the room, they can turn on the light and scream. There are also fights.
  • Even in America, it is difficult to get some drugs. Sometimes you can wait a long time for a doctor who prescribes them. It happens that children are not allowed to give their parents pain relievers for fear of side effects. I think it's even worse in Russia.
  • An old man's diet may be defined as "mashed potatoes," for fear that he will suddenly choke. These are pureed vegetables, in which interest is lost very quickly. It is necessary to specifically seek to revise the diet, if your relative has stopped eating altogether, or constantly walk and feed him himself. But if your relative has diabetes, this does not mean that he will not be given, like everyone else, sweet compote.
  • In all rooms the old people have a panic button. If the patient is too persistent, the staff will accidentally turn it off and then say that it was the patient who pulled the wire out of the network.
  • Even in America, there are thefts. Nobody is responsible for the safety of things. And the rooms are all open. Anyone can come in and take anything. The most offensive, but not the rarest, is the loss of the false teeth.
  • Men rarely settle in nursing homes. During my 3 years of work, almost everyone has changed - and, unfortunately, it is clear how. Old people do not like lack of freedom.
  • In the last days of their lives, almost all of them want to return home. And almost all family members say “this is unnecessary, you will get better soon”, “we will come more often”.
  • During the quarantine, relatives were no longer allowed. This greatly undermines the morale of old people who are already with fear of infection.

I left the nursing home in large part because I felt the powerlessness of dealing with the windmills of the system. And I still often think about how my old people are without me and who will protect them ...

Original column published on the blog. "Art is an answer" on Yandex Zen.

ForumDaily Woman is not responsible for the content of blogs and may not share the views of the author. If you want to become the author of the column, write to us -

Follow success stories, tips, and more by subscribing to Woman.ForumDaily on Facebook, and don't miss the main thing in our mailing list