You, Your Parent, and the Nursing Home: The Family's Guide to Long-Term Care. Fox N. Buffalo, New York, Prometheus Books, 1986, 176 pages, softcover, $10.95.
This book provides a fairly comprehensive approach to understanding the realities associated with nursing home placement and methods for evaluating nursing homes. The content can be useful to those family members seeking placement, but more specifically, to those who provide care in any institutional setting called a nursing home.
In the second chapter, in which the author identifies four categories of nursing homes, one is left with the question: Is there no adequate nursing home for myself or my aged person? Perhaps a fifth category of nursing home, "The One You Choose," would have better served the reader in realizing that nursing home placement reflects a combination of elements. When these elements are understood and evaluated one can identify the type of nursing home that can meet one's needs. One is left with feeling that there is not adequate nursing home placement to be found or influenced by the presence of family.
In the third chapter, "A Mighty Fortress: The Family," the author identifies three Vs - visiting, vigilance, and vocalizing. These three Vs provide useful strategies, not only for individuals faced with placing an individual, but also for those individuals already in institutional settings. This chapter would have been enhanced by a short vignette to illustrate how the three Vs can be used to demonstrate the might of the family and the individual.
In Chapter 11, "The Nursing Home is What You Make It," the author identifies six practices: the float system, the numbers racket, the ping-pong game, the staff coffee break, meal-timing, and the life care plan. These are initially presented in such a way that one is left feeling there is no avenue for change or influence in these practices. However, the remainder of the chapter does offer some constructive strategies for influence through the nursing home ombudsman and resident's council.
In summary, portions of this book are of value to families and care givers seeking and providing care in institutional settings. The book as a whole is more specifically directed to those who are currently providing care and support for a loved one in an institutional setting.