Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Focus on the Social as Well as the Medical Features in Assisted Living

"Nonmedical aspects of daily living determine overall satisfaction with life, which can translate into healthier elder years as evidenced by lower rates of depression and reduced risk of falls, Shippee says. Leedahl worked as a certified nursing aide in a nursing home before getting her PhD in social work. “I always wanted to know: Is there a better way?” she says. “I felt we could be doing better at care by paying attention to quality of life.” In her research, she has visited many facilities. “Some are so beautiful. Others are less elaborate, but they felt cozy and people were happy.” Quality of life is key Nan Sook Park, an associate professor of social work at the University of South Florida in Tampa, studies assisted-living facilities using in-depth interviews of residents. In a 2012 paper, 29 residents at four assisted-living facilities in Alabama were questioned about friendships, routines, mealtimes and activities. “What was striking was the difference in what administrators said and what residents said,” Park says. For instance, administrators say assigned seating at meals makes it easier to track dietary restrictions and gives consistency to people with memory impairment. But residents reported that sitting with the same people at every meal meant there was nothing to talk about. "

My loner father moved into assisted living. With whom should he eat? - The Washington Post

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