The Nursing Home Crisis
by William Dorich
GM Books

"In nursing homes around the country, there has been a progressive increase in elder abuse."

With over 30 million elderly people in the United States, there is a seemingly unending demand for beds in nursing homes. Ironically, according to the author, there is only an 85% occupancy rate. More and more elderly are choosing to live out their final days at home with relatives or homecare professionals attending to them. In his book, the author does a good job of educating the reader about the escalating problem of elder abuse. He breaks down the different types of abuse (physical neglect, physical harm, emotional and verbal abuse, and financial abuse) in a clear and concise manner, and he then offers signs of what to look for when abuse is suspected.

Important topics like managing costs and how to choose the best nursing home for your loved one are discussed in the book. Also discussed is the non-nursing home option. Dorich warns that while well-meaning family members might like to be the caregivers, issues such as work, children, and financial hardship may actually make homecare a poor choice. Past family struggles could also lead to growing resentment, which could then turn abusive. The author encourages family members to look into resources that may be available to them. Adult Protective Services and lawyers who specialize in care for the elderly, for example, can be instrumental in protecting loved ones.

This is an excellent resource for those making the difficult decision about elder care. The references and links that the author provides at the end of the book will be of particular help to readers. The solution for elder abuse and the nursing home crisis, the author suggests, is first in educating the public. This is essential reading for anyone faced with the challenge of caring for an elderly person.

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