A debut guide to evaluating nursing homes that serve people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Gallogly, a retired nurse who worked in nursing homes in Northern Ireland, takes a very personal approach to this manual, saying that “I primarily started this writing to inform my own family, just in case I should develop dementia of any type myself.” In the book’s first part, she concentrates on providing information about nursing homes for the average consumer, including helpful details about staff, facilities, and resident activities. The “Pre-Visit Information Guide” will likely interest anyone evaluating such places for a family member; in it, the author offers tips on what one should look for in terms of location, décor (including color photographs, for example), and activities for residents. Gallogly also addresses the issue of potential abuse “because this question has worried so many family members.” All this information, written from the perspective of an insider, will be valuable for readers comparing one nursing home to another. Early on, the author makes the point that as a visitor, one “must use all your senses”: “Go beyond simply looking; pay attention to sounds and smells as well.” She augments this advice with numerous questions that one should ask home managers. Gallogly also offers several examples of patients (including her own mother) from her own caregiving experiences to illustrate various points, and they give a human, emotional context to the work as a whole. The book’s second part, excerpted from the author’s university studies, is more academic in tone, presenting a history of dementia and a discussion of “person-centered” care; as such, it may appeal most to health care professionals. Because the book is European in its focus, some terms and descriptions may differ from those in other geographical areas, but this doesn’t reduce its effectiveness as a general resource.
An empowering, authoritative manual written in a simple, informal style.