I’m pleased to report a nice mention of my work on the blog of journalist Ellen Rand, author of Last Comforts: Notes from the Forefront of Late Life Care. Last Comforts, the book and the blog, focus on improving ways of managing late-life care.
Below is an excerpt of her blog post. The rest can be found here. Thanks, Ellen!
You’re In a Nursing Home. Now What?
I’m a big believer in the benefits of person-centered culture change in long-term care settings like nursing homes, where the aim is to focus more on the feeling of “home” than on “nursing.” According to the Eden Alternative , a nonprofit organization that promotes, supports and teaches about person-centered culture change, currently there are 190 skilled nursing facilities on its registry, 45 percent owned and operated by for-profit companies and 55 percent by nonprofit, county and government sponsors.
But these homes still represent a small fraction of the total number of skilled nursing facilities in the U.S. What if you, or someone you love, must make the transition to a nursing home now?
Fortunately, many excellent resources are available to guide you in making your choice. Deeply buried in Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare website, for example, is an excellent 56-page booklet called “Your Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home or Other Long-Term Care.” Fewer resources are available to guide you about how to live well once you’re there, however.
That’s where Eleanor Feldman Barbera, PhD, comes in. A seasoned nursing home psychologist, “Dr. El,” as she calls herself on her website and blog, says that her goal is “to make long-term care a place I’d want to live when it’s my turn.” She is called in to work with residents if they are causing trouble – e.g., arguing with staff members or other residents, or refusing to take medications, or participating in rehab, or are depressed.
Her approach is one of empathy, pragmatism and humor. Sometimes it’s a matter of residents adjusting to the reality of not being able to do everything for themselves, she pointed out.