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Improving Nursing Home Models

Garcia & Artigliere

The mental image most people have of the traditional “nursing home” is not always the most caring or comfortable place. In fact, it is usually downright institutional – closer to a hospital than to an actual home. Of course, elderly people in residential care facilities need to be fed, clothed, bathed, given their medication and more, but what if all of those functions could take place in an environment that is actually intimate, nurturing and warm? What if a nursing home could actually be a home, not a sterile institution? This is the new nursing home movement.

This movement seeks to reinvent what most of us have come to expect from nursing homes. Led by LaVrene Norton of national consulting firm Action Pact, adherents seek to create spaces that will foster a sense of community, where elderly people can get their needs met while at the same time decreasing instances of elder abuse and neglect by creating a more genuinely loving atmosphere. Instead of long hallways and a large staff, rooms will be clustered around a common area, with a smaller staff trained in multitasking to provide care. Since 1984, Norton has helped create hundreds of communities based on this “household model” – and she believes that, in time, all nursing homes will follow suit.

With 5% of people over the age of 65 living in nursing homes, it is clear that a new model is needed, both to protect against elder abuse and to help seniors enjoy a better quality of life. The household model offers hope that residential care facilities can be true homes and that older people – regardless of their level of mental or physical health – can live their lives in peaceful, loving settings.

For information on elder abuse and neglect, contact the law firm of Garcia Artigliere & Medby today. Call (800) 328-2630 or go online at


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