This book is for all those who may have to enter, or place a loved one in a skilled nursing home. It comes from someone who has twenty-seven years of experience “in the trenches” as a director of nursing, administrator, regional manager and consultant in long-term care facilities, commonly known as nursing homes, reaching across the country. I have witnessed many, many family members’ joy, tragedy, discouragement and elation in my nursing homes and I have learned from each of them. This is also for those who will feel or have felt the aching, pounding guilt because you had no other choice but a nursing home for your loved one. I dealt with the guilt of family members every day of my career. I understood the guilt and I understood the fear and concerns. They were entrusting a person that they loved very dearly to people they didn’t know. Besides that, they had heard all the horror stories. Would all of these terrible things befall them and their loved one? If you are the caretaker of a loved one, there may come a time when you have reached the final limit. This is mostly guaranteed to happen unless the caregiver has devoted their entire life and future to the loved one. This does happen but most people cannot endure the physical and mental stress of the never-ending care and problems that go along with tending to their loved one’s needs. It could be your very ill mother, incontinent of both bowel and bladder that requires feeding and total care. How long can you keep up the 24-hour job? You have a spouse and maybe even children that need attention and support from you. You will know when the time comes to do something. You can find no way around putting your loved one in a nursing home. You experience tremendous guilt; you lose sleep. But in the end, it‘s the only thing than can be done. The very ill can benefit from nursing home care at a good facility. Of course, there are also residents in nursing facilities who are recovering from surgery, are involved in extensive daily therapy and of course, the Alzheimer’s victims and the grossly confused who benefit as well. Other patients with less severe problems can be admitted to assisted living centers until the required nursing care has surpassed the center’s skills and licensing. There are bad assisted living centers just like there are bad hospitals and bad nursing homes. You’ve got to do your homework. Through this writing, I will attempt to acquaint you with how a good nursing home is run, how to tour a nursing home and what to look for. There will be tips and a few stories along the way. It is my hope that you will realize that the nursing home experience doesn’t have to be a horror story, and that you will know you have the ability to find the right place for your loved one. So, come along with me. It won’t be complicated and as I said, I’ve included some of my stories to make it easier to understand. The last thing I want is for this work to be as dry as a textbook. You will find many facts repeated in this book. I’ve done this on purpose as there are always many different contexts. My main purpose is to help you find the nursing home right for you and your loved one, break down the fear of nursing homes and relieve some of the guilt trips so very common in family members. Only with a positive attitude can you and your loved one make the nursing home experience a good one. I will always urge you to do your homework in selecting the long-term care facility that is right for you and/or your loved one. This is for you.
Professional & Technical, Medical, Nursing, Nursing Home Care,