Inside Assisted Living: The Search for Home

Inside Assisted Living: The Search for Home

by J. Kevin Eckert, Paula C. Carder, Leslie A. Morgan, Ann Christine Frankowski
     
 

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Assisted living is the fastest-growing alternative to skilled nursing care for frail older persons in the United States. The expectations, settings, and missions of these residences are varied, making it difficult for prospective residents and their families to anticipate what it would be like to live in them. This book is a unique portal into the real world of

Overview

Assisted living is the fastest-growing alternative to skilled nursing care for frail older persons in the United States. The expectations, settings, and missions of these residences are varied, making it difficult for prospective residents and their families to anticipate what it would be like to live in them. This book is a unique portal into the real world of assisted living and the key issues facing consumers, providers, and policy makers.

Drawing on in-depth interviews with residents, their family members, staffers, and administrators, Inside Assisted Living opens the window on day-to-day life in six different types of assisted living residence. From "Miss Helen at Valley Glen Home" to "Mr. Sidney at Laurel Ridge," the detailed profiles of individuals show the commonalities among the residences while highlighting the positive and negative aspects of each. The voices of those living, visiting, and working in the homes clarify the important local (social relations, staff dynamics, leadership) and national (funding, regulation, aging-in-place) challenges presented by assisted living.

Introductory and concluding chapters synthesize new findings that cross the six settings and reflect issues vital to all participants. The book also features an appendix detailing the research process involved in creating the profiles.

Editorial Reviews

PsycCRITIQUES
Candid and honest... Inside Assisted Living helps to heighten the awareness of the need for psychological services to this currently major and rapidly growing population.

— Richard H. Cox

Boom!
An excellent introduction for anyone who needs to acquaint himself or herself with assisted living in anticipation of having to choose assisted care for a parent or other loved one.

— Barbara Petty

Boom! - Barbara Petty
An excellent introduction for anyone who needs to acquaint himself or herself with assisted living in anticipation of having to choose assisted care for a parent or other loved one.

PsycCRITIQUES - Richard H. Cox
Candid and honest... Inside Assisted Living helps to heighten the awareness of the need for psychological services to this currently major and rapidly growing population.

Publishers Weekly

The authors-researchers and academics with the Center for Aging Studies at the Erickson School and with the University of Maryland-spent five years studying life in six Baltimore-area assisted-living facilities. These ranged from an eight-resident home owned by two sisters to a 112-person residential-care facility that is part of a for-profit corporation. The book offers excerpts from interviews with residents, family members and staff. While it can illuminate in depth many of the issues in assisted-care living, its primary audience should be readers with a professional or policy interest in care for the aged. (June 15)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Many people have firsthand knowledge of assisted living through visiting aging family members and friends, evaluating options for a relative in need of care, or engaging in difficult conversations with parents about their wishes "when the time comes." This book moves beyond individual perceptions and prejudices to summarize a comprehensive ethnographic study of six varied assisted-living facilities. Over a five-year span, researchers and scholars from the Center for Aging Studies at the Erickson School and Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, performed extensive interviews and observations of residents, family members, administrators, and staff at the selected institutions, identifying a representative patient at each for particular attention. The institutions, all in the Baltimore area, ranged from a small privately run home for six residents to an up-scale facility housing 100. Eckert (director of the center) and his team have done an outstanding job of distilling their research into a readable and perceptive overview of the assisted-living experience. Their study compassionately delineates the competing values of desires of residents for independence, needs of family members for reassurance about of their relatives' safety, concerns of staff about their low salaries and working conditions, and the needs of owners and operators to preserve financial viability in the face of increasing regulatory demands and liability costs. As the experiences of the patients reveal, most care decisions are made in response to medical emergencies rather than through careful planning. Not a how-to guide for time-pressured family members or guardians,this book provides a scholarly and, happily, generally positive view of the assisted-living experience. Potentially invaluable to thoughtful readers in geriatrics, sociology, and medical policy; highly recommended.
—Kathy Arsenault

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801892608
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
05/12/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
264
Sales rank:
1,002,711
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Benyamin Schwarz

One of the most important books written about assisted living communities and the people who live in them. The authors succeed in unveiling the unknown dimension of dwelling in assisted living by bringing home to us the poignant reality and earnestness of living in a long-term care setting that strives to substitute for home.

Benyamin Schwarz, Ph.D., coeditor of Aging, Autonomy, and Architecture: Advances in Assisted Living

Meet the Author

This book is a collaborative effort undertaken by researchers and professors affiliated with the Center for Aging Studies at the Erickson School and Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). J. Kevin Eckert is director of the center and dean of and professor at the school and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Paula C. Carder, formerly associate director of the center, is an assistant professor at the Institute on Aging, Portland State University. Leslie A. Morgan is a professor in the department of sociology and anthropology, UMBC, and a senior research associate with the center. Ann Christine Frankowski is a senior research associate with the center and an adjunct assistant professor in the department of sociology and anthropology, UMBC. Erin G. Roth is a senior research analyst and ethnographer with the center.

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