Better Nursing Home Care

nursing-homeNursing homes generally do not have a very good reputation here in the United States.    And according to Donna M. Reed, an attorney who worked for a number of years as a licensed practical nurse in a number of different nursing homes, this reputation is well deserved.  While the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act has resulted in some improvements,  nursing homes remain chronically short-staffed, with the nurses and nursing assistants literally simply not having sufficient time to care for all of their charges.

Reed begins by giving an overview of the three types of nursing home care:   “assisted living”, “long term care” and “skilled nursing facility” which offer respectively the least to the highest levels of care and attention.   Reed goes on to discuss in some detail the federal laws which give nursing home residents certain rights and nursing home operators certain responsibilites.    Much of the book is devoted to strategies for how you as a family member can insure your loved one receives the best possible care.     Some of the suggestions, while quite simple,  did seem like they would be effective.   For instance, Reed recommends keeping a dish of candy for the staff in the resident’s room to encourage frequent staff  visits.

Placing a parent or loved one in a nursing home is never an easy decision.   But Reed is firmly convinced that nursing home residents whose families are frequent visitors and well known to the staff receive significantly better care than patients who have no family members to regularly and consistently advocate on their behalf.     If you are or may get to be in a position where you must place your parent or loved one in a nursing home,  Better Nursing Home Care is an invaluable guide.   Recommended.   Buy now $17.95

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