This second edition of a guide offers advice on assessing, choosing, and adapting to nursing homes and various alternatives.
Goldsmith (Choosing a Nursing Home, 1990) here provides a new, fully fleshed-out version of his book’s lauded first edition. The statistics he provides at the outset certainly indicate the need: More than a million Americans live in nursing homes, where they receive an average of four hours of care every day. Perhaps more importantly, as one of the author’s interviewees points out at the beginning, most people are going to end up in nursing homes, and virtually none of them believe they will or ever think about that eventuality. As Goldsmith’s thorough, comprehensive chapters make clear, it’s far better to plan early. And this guide takes readers through every conceivable aspect of that preparation. The costs of nursing homes and assorted alternatives are carefully broken down and explained, including adult day care and all-inclusive care, with the author discussing what is covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Throughout the manual, Goldsmith urges readers to take proactive control of these and all other decisions concerning their own declining years and those of their loved ones. There’s extensive and clearly presented information on how to choose a nursing home and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses, including breakdowns of how to approach interviewing administrators, nursing directors, activities directors, and everyone else who’ll be responsible for caregiving. Fact sheets and checklists help to organize and prioritize the vast amount of information presented here. But equally important is the manual’s calm, even tone—the life changes outlined here are very emotionally charged and can be frightening, especially to those facing them firsthand. Yet even when he’s writing about the fine details of contracts and other legal arrangements, Goldsmith is never pessimistic or fearmongering. The assumption at all times is that nursing homes are an inevitable fact of life for most people and should therefore be dealt with plainly and openly. Scores of readers likely considered this book’s first edition intensely, almost uniquely useful. Those readers and many more should find this invaluable second edition equally so.
An indispensable examination of nursing home realities.