Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review: The Nursing Home Survival Guide

The Nursing Home Survival GuideTitle: The Nursing Home Survival Guide
Author: L.E. Green
Publisher:  Createspace
Published:  July 25, 2012
Format:  Paperback
Genre: Non-Fiction
Pages: 246
Source: Recieved  from the author in
exchange for an honest review
Read: January 12-17 2013
In A Few Words: Cautionary
My Rating: 3 Stars

Amazon Synopsis:
The Nursing Home Survival Guide is the ultimate guide to everything you'll need to know about nursing homes, from whether your family member actually needs placement, the many different types of payment sources available, the admissions process, how to be discharged (even if the nursing home doesn't want to let you go), dying with dignity in a nursing home and everything in between. This book was written with the goal of empowering the patient and family so that they will have a positive experience. Whether the patient is being admitted for a short-term rehabilitation stay, or for long-term care, this book helps to explain the inner workings of the nursing home so that you can ensure your family member receives the best possible care. It covers: • Why it's best to have the patient admitted in the morning, and what to do when medications aren't available for up to 24 hours after the patient has been admitted. • What to bring and how to ensure the patient's items won't be lost. • How to cut down on some of the ancillary costs, including medications, supplies and equipment. • When to contact an Elder Law Attorney in order to become eligible for Medicaid to pay for a patient’s room & board. • How to search a nursing home's track record, and how to find out if either the Administrator or Director of Nursing has experienced any problems with their licenses. • How the annual inspections are conducted and how to file an official complaint against a nursing home. • When – and where – to complain regarding patient care issues, and how to have a patient transferred to another nursing home or assisted living.

Melissa's Musings:

This book is very straightforward and to the point. It explains a lot of the details of nursing homes and assisted living that you might not think are important. It covers everything from what to bring with you, to how to stand up for yourself when staff are making decisions for you or a family member that you aren't comortable with.

A fair note of warning: This book reads like a textbook and the material is very dense in that regard. It's not really meant to be read all the way through so much as scanned for specific information, or at least that's the feeling I got when I was reading it. A lot of the material is repetitive, but in this case that's necessary to allow it to be fully understood.

One thing that I noticed is that this book has a very cautionary, somewhat negative tone regarding nursing homes. The message that I got loud and clear is that nursing homes will do anything and everything they can to make as much money from their patients as possible, and people should be aware of this. There are examples of extremely ill patients being made to do therapy so that the nursing homes can bill insurance for these therapies. There are also instances of patient files being doctored to reflect these services even if the patients didn't actually receive them. Or instances of staff making decisions regarding things like medication changes without the patient's approval.

When you're reading it, it feels like it's hopeless to change any of these practices, but the author does well to point out that you should stand up for yourself with the nursing homes, and that they cannot evict a person from their care. 

One thing that I think the book would have benefitted from is anecdotal quotes or stories from patients in nursing homes, to make the book have a more personal, real, touch. 

There is a glossary at the back of the book to help define all the medical and technical terms, which is very helpful as well as a list of resources and agencies that assist with the process of obtaining nursing home care.

This book is a helpful tool for anyone who is considering nursing home care for themselves or a relative.

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