Old Age and Loneliness

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Task Force: Old Age and Loneliness

Congratulations!

You have been put in charge of a retirement home in your local area after the current owner decided to step down and hire someone to handle its affairs. Your goal is to try and improve the quality of life for the elderly in the retirement home. 

 Why Are We Doing This?

There were 15,600 nursing homes in the United States in 2016, 69.3% of which had a for-profit ownership. Managing a nursing home requires more than just hiring the appropriate staff to take care of the health needs the elderly have. It also requires trying to improve the quality of life for the elderly who are residing in the home and are planning to spend their last days there. Here, we ask you to consider how you can redesign parts of your retirement home to improve quality of life for your members. 

Steps:

  1. Before you begin, research information about nursing homes in the United States. Find out what kind of staff is needed and some popular forms of entertainment available for the elderly. 
  2. Then, try to come up with a plan for your retirement home that will improve the current quality of life for your members. 
    1. What kinds of activities and programs will you plan? How will you keep track of whether or not members are enjoying those activities and programs?
    2. How will you get family members and friends to get involved? What about those who do not have family members or friends?
    3. What kinds of sleeping arrangements will be organized?
    4. What type of food will be served?
    5. Do all nursing homes have mental health facilities? Will you hire staff that can provide mental health support for your members?
    6. What other kinds of needs and wants will you provide to your members? Why do you think they are important?
    7. What qualities will you look for when hiring staff to work with the members? Will you solely focus on their work resumes or how they interact with the elderly?
  3. Think through the possible objections about your plan that someone might have.
  4. Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your plan best improves the quality of life for your members.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  •  You do not have to come up with an exhaustive list of steps for your plan. Choose a few that you are prepared to defend.
  • Try to research what nursing homes have done in the past and how it has worked out for them.
  • Consider researching what the elderly lack fulfilment in and how you can fill in those gaps for your members. 
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