Myths and Facts About Nursing Homes

Myths And Facts About Nursing Homes

There’s a deep misconception about nursing homes that remains prevalent today. Many still believe that nursing homes have a cold and sterile hospital-like environment. 

The notion persisted in many people’s thoughts despite changes made to facilities to embrace home comforts and add other elements to make residents as comfortable as possible, making the topic of moving into a home very challenging to address.

In this article, we will bust some common myths about nursing homes that will change your impression of nursing homes and relieve the worry of moving into one.

Myth 1: A nursing home is just like a hospital.

Nursing facilities are similar to hospitals because they provide medical, rehabilitative, and nursing care. These institutions provide homelike surroundings in addition to mentally, physically, and socially stimulating activities. 

While receiving the care they require, residents in nursing homes are encouraged to lead active lifestyles and interact with one another all day and during mealtimes.

Other factors that make nursing facilities different from hospitals:

  • They don’t have a set schedule for visitors.
  • They provide residents with communal dining areas where they can eat with friends.
  • Every day, they provide physical exercises.
  • They provide mental exercise.
  • They provide mental exercise.
  • They provide social events and pursuits.

Myth 2: It’s the last place I’ll live

This is true, particularly if one cannot do self-care and has no one to care for them at home, for people who are too feeble, have been identified as having a terminal illness, or are elderly.

However, patients who enter a nursing home to obtain post-operative care or rehabilitation services can move into an independent facility or return home as soon as possible.

Myth 3: Nursing homes offer little or no privacy.

The staff at the nursing home is aware of the privacy worries many new residents have, and they try to provide as much privacy as possible while fostering a safe environment. While resident rooms are private, common facilities like dining halls and living rooms are frequently “open.” Staff personnel enter only after knocking on the door to show respect for this privacy.

Myth 4: Residents living there are terminally ill and dying

Nursing homes not only provide care for the elderly and the terminally sick, but they also aid in recovering accident or surgery victims. Later on, these people transition to independent institutions or houses.

Myth 5: Residents cannot express themselves

Residents enter skilled nursing facilities for various reasons, as mentioned above. Each person performs at their own level, whether recovering from a fall, going through a rehabilitation program, or receiving long-term care. While some patients might find it difficult to communicate, skilled nursing institutions are committed to providing them with the required care.

Myth 6: Nursing homes are for people with memory problems

A nursing home facility is an option for people who need assistance and care due to memory loss, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease. They are unable to continue practicing self-care.

Residents with Alzheimer’s disease reside in a different building with wandering prevention measures. They get specialized care at the Alzheimer’s wing, including nutritious meals, physical activity, social interaction, and carefully monitored medication.

Myth 7: Residents do not receive proper care.

State and federal laws specify the standards of care that must be upheld in all skilled care nursing facilities. Facilities also run their internal quality assurance processes. An unannounced state surveyor examines each nursing facility annually to ensure that residents receive the right care at all times. 

Surveyors also go to the facilities to assess the legitimacy of a complaint. The nursing home immediately creates and implements a rectification plan if the surveyor finds any issues.

After the resident is admitted, a care plan meeting is held with the new patient, their family, and some nursing home personnel. Future care procedures and health objectives will be decided upon at this meeting, which will be successful with the support of family members’ continuous participation.

Myth 8: Nursing homes serve undernourished canned foods

Today’s nursing homes offer a higher standard of diet that is resident-centered. Each inhabitant chooses where and when to eat. It’s a huge departure from the past.

Facilities must follow written instructions provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on how to prepare meals in a nutrient-dense manner. These rules also impact the food’s value, flavor, and look. Food must be enticing, visually appealing, and at the right temperature. The facility uses alternative nutritious substitutes if inmates refuse to eat.

Myth 9: Husbands and wives cannot live together.

Did You Know?

Almost 70% of residents don’t have a spouse (widowed, divorced, or never married). 


As long as this arrangement does not interfere with the residents’ healthcare needs, married couples who enter a nursing home simultaneously may share a room. The nursing staff at the institution is aware of the need for privacy for couples living together and makes every effort to uphold it.

Myth 10: Residents are lonely

No matter where one lives, it is lonely for locals without family support.

Nursing facilities actively encourage residents to socialize, join in on planned activities, and go out.

Family and friends are welcome at any time.

Myth 11: Residents are given medications to keep them sedated.

Numerous laws are meticulously followed to make sure that this doesn’t happen. For instance, one federal regulation mandates that a state inspector and a consultant pharmacist review each resident’s prescriptions. 

Additionally, we urge all residents and their loved ones to participate in the creation and implementation of their unique care plans because each resident has a right to know what medications they are taking. Additionally, residents are free to reject any or all prescriptions.

Myth 12: Residents are physically restrained

Thanks to technology, physical restrictions are no longer required for stray individuals.

Residents and family members have a right to know what the doctor has prescribed as a form of restraint,

When or if restraint is improperly used, consult a doctor, nurse, or administrator if you have concerns about a family member in a nursing home.

Myth 13: All nursing homes are the same.

Even while there are rules that every care home must follow, no two establishments are alike. While some facilities are smaller, allowing residents to have intimate, meaningful relationships with fewer staff members, some are larger, necessitating larger staff teams and regular rotations that allow residents to engage with more nurses. 

While some facilities have excellent evaluations from staff, residents, and family members of residents, the reviews of other facilities may need to be more favorable.

Some facilities provide specialized care for certain conditions. It’s crucial to research the facilities you’re considering to get a sense of the nursing home and determine whether it fits your needs.

Myth 14: A nursing home is the only option if I can’t take care of myself at home.

Today, there are various ways to support older adults in remaining in their homes, from caring for and visiting home health services to assisting with shopping and laundry. Suppose in-home care is no longer an option. In that case, alternative options, such as assisted living, may be preferable if the main requirement is for custodial care rather than expert medical care. Even hospice care can frequently be provided at home.

Myth 15: Nursing homes are for people whose families don’t care about them.

Did You Know?

Additional children reduce a woman’s risk of nursing home use by six percent.


Elder care is strongly seen as the family’s responsibility in many cultures. It might not be feasible in today’s environment when smaller families disperse more apart and more people live longer with chronic conditions. 

It doesn’t mean you don’t care about an aging family member if you consider getting them a nursing facility. Finding a place where your loved one’s requirements will be satisfied is the responsible course of action if you cannot give them the care they require.


The nursing facilities of today are very different from those of the past. In the past two decades, there has been a significant improvement in policies and processes, staffing, training, buildings, and care quality. 

However, because there are still certain misconceptions, people frequently have unnecessary fears about moving to a nursing community. Long-term care communities or skilled nursing facilities are more frequently used names for nursing homes than the phrase itself.

Making a significant adjustment in one’s life is never simple, but old notions about nursing home care should not influence current choices. 

Today’s nursing homes take pride in nurturing mind, body, and spirit and offering residents the highest caliber of medical care by paying closer attention to residents’ nutritional needs, emotional needs, and the significance of enjoyable activities for mental and physical stimulation.