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 ...

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Inside Assisted Living: The Search for Home

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

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

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

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.

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801895203
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 264
  • File size: 3 MB

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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Table of Contents

List of Contributors vii

Foreword, by Bill Thomas, M.D. ix

Preface xiii

1 Introduction 1

2 Miss Helen at Valley Glen Home 15

3 Opal at Franciscan House 36

4 Karen at Huntington Inn 53

5 Mrs. Koehler at Middlebury Manor 75

6 Dr. Catherine at the Chesapeake 98

7 Mr. Sidney at Laurel Ridge 124

8 Everyday Life in Assisted Living 149

9 Aging in Places 167

10 The Reality and the Promise of Assisted Living 195

Appendix: Technical Description of the Research Project 213

Notes 229

References 233

Index 239

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    The reality of Assisted Livings- Fantastic Info

    This book gives detailed description of different residents and their housing plans. Throughout these glances at the ethnography of assisted livings, the book details the certain levels of difficulty, differences, and financial options available. In the introduction and the descriptions it entails the history of the term assisted living and the ideas that are presented. Each individual represented had their own personal opinions about where they lived and how each day was to be played out. The residents also expressed whom they liked and disliked, how they were seen and how they came to stay at the assisted living. Following there after in the conclusion it summarizes all the information gathered from the studies observed and puts it all together. It gives the general over view of all the subjects and how they were categorized and the perspective of financial options presented in each house. There are three to four levels of care, and the intensity as to which each member should be handled. Then the decision is to be made whether or not the resident can be accommodated or should be moved to a nursing home. Then as the levels of care increase the cost of care also increases. The major theme or message of this book is to provide information and guidance on choosing the right place for someone that needs a greater amount of individual attention. It is an insight into other people’s decisions on the same subject and how the outcome has turned out. Personally, I enjoyed reading the stories of other residents and how they had handled moving into a different environment. This book really taught me how assisted livings came about, how they are run and some of the requirements that determine how someone could be placed in an assisted living. Working during a summer at an assisted living, a lot of the things that this book talked about I could relate to. Some of the residents discussed, I encountered in the same situations when I met them. Some of them had dementia and I was new every day. I also understand how it was described that they just loved to talk and share memories. These stories light up their worlds when they finally get to share them with someone. There was no dislikes about this book. It was a true inspiration to my possible future career with working along side the elderly in an assisted living. I believe that anyone and everyone should read this book. This is a great look into the reality of an assisted living and all of the possibilities that are out there. This book offers information not only for prospective residents, but workers and average everyday people that could want to know more about seniors. It digs through the history and allows the reader to comprehend real situations and the possible future of having to place someone you love in one. It sets out the path, step by step, on how get acquainted with new financial arrangements, looking at assisted livings, and trying to find the right match for your loved one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2011

    Highly Recommended - This book was exceptional.

    This book was amazingly helpful as I looked to place my extended family in an assisted living facility. I highly recommend it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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