Effectiveness of Nursing Homes for the Mentally Ill

Subject: Psychiatry
Pages: 2
Words: 524
Reading time:
2 min

Given that the health costs have been rising year after year in the United States, about 15.5% of the nation’s gross domestic product. In 2005, this amount of spending was projected to reach about $1.9 trillion. This amount is twice what is being spent on education or even defense. In every five American adults, at least over 44.3 million do not have health insurance, and private corporations take care of only 20% of health costs.

Gribble analyses the impact that nursing homes and other institutionalized mentally ill children face. She says that the experiences between a child who is taken care of by the family and the one in an institution are extremely different. The quality of care in many nursing homes varies; however, given that they all accommodate a good number of people, individualized attention is almost impossible. The fact that they are placed in these homes may end up depriving them emotionally and physically, resulting in health problems, among others.

With close attention given to the development process, high cot or room restrictions may keep a tight rein on the physical experiences a child may have. In addition to this, the child may end up lacking in treatment in case of any special physical need they may be having. This is normally a result of very little if any contact with an adult figure that will then again always be on-demand, as other patients require his or her attention. Moreover, given the seclusion and low state monitoring, the patients are more exposed to sexual and physical abuse but lack a means of letting the information out to the public.

Another adverse effect of any mental patients receiving treatment from nursing homes is that they end up being overfriendly or over-attached. The main aim for such actions, especially in a child’s case, is that they may be looking for attention from any adult figure. This they have done by being engaging. As a result, these children end up distancing themselves from their own parents as they seek the affection and attention of strangers. Hence, they also develop an independent behavior characterized by avoiding eye contact physical contact as well as they tend to get stiff when held.

In some nursing homes, food adequacy might be a problem, given that the numbers are usually bigger than the amount donors can afford to give. On the contrary, there are homes that have more than enough. This, therefore, means that a patient is used to a schedule not considering the special need of the individual. This, therefore, gets in the way of the individual’s ability to make connections between body signals of hunger or even fullness and their need for food at a particular moment in time. Many mentally ill patients, due to social isolation, end up engaging in substance abuse. As Curtis and Friedrich put it, roughly 50 % of the individuals diagnosed with severe mental illness have, in addition to this, a diagnosis of substance abuse disorder. These people end up self-medicating because these symptoms are not in any way under control.