Convalescent Nursing Homes

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There are many stereotypical ways in which the older people are viewed in our societies. While the elderly are loved and respected by everyone, often, there are certain ways in which people look at the old people. For example, they are seen as people who are physically and mentally slow, they are seen as people who need help walking up the stairs, picking heavy bags and sometimes not so heavy bags, standing upright, and remembering things. As people get older, their bodies also go through a lot of transformations. Some changes are obvious, like when physical appearances change, but there are also other changes that take place internally. This paper aims to discuss such biological changes, alternative models, and also look at an example of a Convalescent nursing home where William, my grandfather could be staying for a while.

Biological Changes

It is clear that bodies go through some biological changes with age. The first and most obvious change is the change in appearance whereby, the hair begins to change its colour to gray, the hairlines in men start to fall back, and wrinkles appear. The most internal changes that come with advanced age have a bigger effect. Such changes include, body fat takes the place of lean body mass which leads to people adding weight, people lose muscle and bones become weak. Also, lungs fail to take in air properly leading to the respiratory system not working properly. Other changes include cardiovascular and renal systems failure, the amount of brain cells and brain mass in general decreases, and the eyes and ears stop functioning properly.

Intellectual and Psychological Changes

Intellectual and psychological changes also take place. When people reach their 70s, they start losing their memories, they start experiencing depression and other mental problems, and dementia, including Alzheimers’ illness, can set in. Studies on the elderly and these conditions show that half the people with 65 years or more have arthritis or high blood pressure, almost a fifth have heart disease, over a fifth suffers from diabetes, and around 60 percent of women around the age of 70 have osteoporosis (Centers for Disease Control).

Physical Changes and Memory Loss

Concerns/fears about physical changes and memory loss according to William- Physical changes vary from one person to the other, and changes depend on the lifestyle of a person, genes, and environmental factors. Physical changes brought about by normal aging rarely affect the quality of life of an individual. Changes that are as a result of illnesses and lifestyle choices are not part of normal aging.

Some of the physical changes that William identified and their concerns as a result of advanced age include fragile bones. He said that having fragile bones makes him weak and an accidental fall can cause serious injuries, disability, or even kill him. Another change is hair loss; he lost almost all hair which makes him self-conscious and the little that is left is almost white. Height is another change that William talked about, he said that his height started changing on his late 4os and at some point, he had to buy new clothes as most of his clothes could not fit him. Skin is another change that William experienced, whereby, he developed spots and wrinkles which makes him self-conscious about how he looks. He also lost some of his teeth which forced him to get artificial teeth as he had trouble chewing food without some of his teeth and others damaged. Finally, William said that he started losing weight when he was fifty years old, and he kept losing it gradually. When asked about memory loss, he answered that, so far he has not had major issues with memory loss, just the usual forgetfulness. Mostly, he keeps losing his glasses and forgetting some little information but nothing major so far.

Importance of Physical versus Social Aging in shaping life. Which is more important?

Physical changes such as becoming blind, deaf, inability to walk leads to problems such as injuries, and disabilities make the elderly depend on other people. Being dependent on other people means that such people need constant care by the people closest to them. In some cases, some old people are left on their own without anyone to look after them. Social aging is a situation whereby a person's behavior and duties change contrary to what society expects. This is when an elderly can no longer do the things they used to do when they were younger.

When this happens, it leads to loneliness from losing a spouse or friends, and not being able to do the day to day activities that were previously a normal occurrence. Some may find it hard to cope with and accept the changes, social isolation as everyone else is busy with their lives, and boredom from not being able to carry on with the usual activities. It has been proven that some old people are discriminated and socially excluded for being old. Physical and social aging are both important because they both affect the elderly in the same way they need company to help them physically and also to be there for them.

Nursing/Convalescent Homes

Convalescent homes are homes with medical professionals that care for patients for a short time until they recover and are ready to go home. They can be a part of the hospital or can be on their own. They are sometimes known as an Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility. Nursing homes offer help to their residents with day-to-day activities such as taking a bath, dressing, going to the bathroom, taking medication, and eating and drinking for those who can't. These simple activities get harder with age. When William was asked about how he feels about these homes, he said that staying in a nursing home offers the elderly an opportunity to meet new people, and most importantly, a person cannot be lonely. He also said that old people in nursing homes do not have to do any chores, they are offered meals, health care services, and safety. It is not wise for old people to live alone.

Alternative Models such as the Eden Alternative

Eden Alternative is an organization that is found all over the world whose aim is to provide quality of life for old people and other people involved in the care process regardless of where they live. The organization provides the quality of life by educating people, consultation, and reaching out to people who need the program.

Raya's Paradise

I visited Raya's Paradise on 28th November at exactly 3 pm. Their address is 341 North La Jolla Ave, phone number (310) 289-8834. The facility is located in the Beverly Center area in a very beautiful neighborhood bordering single-family residential houses. The building itself is colorful and beautiful. The facility did not smell like a hospital like I expected, in fact, the only smell I was aware of is of detergents. The facility holds six beds meaning it serves six people at a time. It has nine senior staff members from different educational backgrounds. For example, the Geriatric Care Manager has degrees in Human Services and Marriage and Family Therapy, and another staff member has a degree in Psychology and Sociology. I was told that they have to do a background check on every staff member in Raya's Paradise and fingerprinting. They also require TB and drug tests to make sure that the people who will be in constant contact with their patients are clean and safe. They have qualified medical professionals always on call, and they also have an ambulance that is always ready and available in case of an emergency. Recreational activities available include music, group exercises, games, and other activities. They provide physical therapy for those who cannot do other physical activities.

Works Cited


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state of aging and health in America. 2007. Whitehouse Station, NJ: The Merck Company Foundation.

Eden Alternative. The Eden Alternative Philosophy. 2016.

October 13, 2023

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