Unjust Criticism of Nursing Homes

I received an online article published yesterday (I wont post a link, because it is undeserving of my assistance with search engine optimization) on a local blog for the City of Buffalo. The article is an insult to intelligent people everywhere and is incredibly demeaning to children who are faced with the agonizing decision of long term placement for a loved one.

The title of the article reads as follows:  “Be nice to your children…they will pick your nursing home.”

The anonymous blogger who conjured up this drivel essentially decries children who place elderly parents in a nursing home as a bunch of callous and uncaring ingrates.

Painting with a brush and strokes as broad as a broom, the article appeals to children to keep parents at home, at all costs.

This is what he/she (?) writes in part:

“Can you imagine what it must be like to spend your life raising a family in your home, only to reach a point, or an age, where you are suddenly displaced and relocated to a nursing home? All of the memories, tucked away in boxes in basements and attics, with your remaining years relegated to communal bingo sessions and sing alongs?

The idea of ‘aging in place’ is revolutionary for the United States – a country that has basically adapted to the concept of nursing homes at an incredible pace. In a society where families are just too busy, and where at-home nursing options are too expensive, the ‘logical’ alternative has been to find places where senior services are lumped together in order to then lump the seniors together.”

Really?!

Why the thinly veiled animosity and aggressive rhetoric? What experiences could this blogger possibly have had with skilled nursing homes to motivate such a strong position?

I meet with families every single day, who have spent years sacrificing of themselves and of their personal resources to keep their elderly parents at home with them. They retro-fit entire portions of their homes for wheelchair access and they quit their jobs and commitments to care for their loved ones.

At some point, they simply fall apart from the crushing burden (both physical and psychological) of being the primary caregiver 24/7.

By the time I meet with them at our facilities, they are exhausted beyond belief and at the end of their ropes.

I sit with them and I cry with them (no melodrama here, but the unadulterated truth). In many instances they are guilt ridden because of their natural desire to ‘be there’ for their parents. They understand intellectually that they need help, but they cannot come to terms with it on an emotional level. Their appearance at my doorstep doesn’t happen overnight and is not the byproduct of haste and impulsivity, but the final step in a long and arduous road of internal contemplation.

So I sit with them and I empathize with them and we cry together and have a candid discussion about the future and about what it means to place an elderly loved one in a stellar nursing facility like ours.

The fact is, these children are not relinquishing control of their parents and callously incarcerating them in their senior years!

No, they are simply inviting us to collaborate with them and share in the burden of care, so that their parents may thrive in a framework of care and compassion!

We are not the end of the road for these people, but rather a beacon of light within our respective communities to provide tactical aid and support for those who cannot manage on their own (both the families and the residents).

I don’t know what kind of facilities in Buffalo may have motivated this blogger to generally excoriate nursing homes in this manner, but he/she ought to spend ONE day at any Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in New Jersey for a real life lesson in care and compassion.

Ill be more than happy to provide the tour and refreshments.

About Judah Gutwein, L.N.H.A.

As a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, with additional years of experience as an Admissions and Marketing Director, I am intimately familiar with the challenges of building and maintaining a vibrant census in nursing and rehab facilities. Regency Nursing Centers has a well deserved reputation for excellence in healthcare and I'm extremely proud of our achievements! Thanks for reading our Regency Blog!
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