Friday, March 22, 2013

Nursing Home Care

The New York Times here has an article describing the experiences of a man living in an assisted living and then--I think, but it isn't clear--a nursing home.

My mother spent two-and-a-half years in a nursing home.   She had me to visit every day and bring her new stacks of large print books, that she spent all day, every day, reading.   Without that stimulation, I'm very afraid she would have sunk into the torpor and despair I saw overcoming most other residents.

There are so many problems with nursing homes, but the overwhelming one I saw was that well over half of the residents--I'd guess seventy to eighty percent of them--had dementia.  Those still mobile were in locked wards, but once they were in a wheelchair, they were down in the regular wings. 

This presence of huge numbers of patients with dementia exerts incredible influence on the care of everyone.  Underpaid, poorly trained aides tend to treat all residents as if they were not mentally acute.  There is little effort made to provide books.  The administration left the air conditioning on well into the fall so they could be comfortable in their suits.  Meanwhile, the residents were freezing at night.  I had my mother dressed as if she were camping in Maine.  But so many of the residents have not the capacity to understand or complain.

I don't know the answer.  I just know I am doing everything I can to ensure no one of my  family ever has to suffer through that experience again.


  1. Hi Mary, thanks for the very nice post about nursing home care. I want to include my experience with Home nursing. My Uncle is n bed from last year and we all do job so it's obvious we wanted a nurse to take care of him and she is really good. She is like a family member now and she's doing perfectly great job. I think when you searching for a nurse we should try for the best nursing company because a good nursing company always gives you a good understanding nursing stadd because they have to set up the standard.

  2. Hi Nomzam,

    Thanks for the perceptive comment. I agree with care at home is best, if it can be arranged. Best to you, Mary