Old Age in a New Age: The Promise of Transformative Nursing Homes

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On investigative visits to nursing homes across the nation, Beth Baker has witnessed profound changes. Culture change leaders are tearing up everything -- the floor plans, the flow charts, the schedules, the lousy menus, the attitudes, the rules -- and starting from scratch. They are creating extraordinary places where people live in dignity and greet the day with contentment, assisted by employees who feel valued and appreciated. Perhaps most surprising, these homes prove that a high quality of life does not have to cost more. Some of the best homes in the nation serve primarily low-income people who are on Medicaid. In this new book, Baker tell the story of a better way to live in old age. Although each home is different, they share common values: respecting individual choices; empowering staff; fostering a strong community of elders, staff, family members, and volunteers; redesigning buildings from a hospital model to a home (where pets and children are part of everyday life); and honoring people when they die. Her visits to more than two dozen facilities include those associatd with the Eden Alternative, Green House, Kendal, and the Pioneer Network. Whether these transformational homes become the norm or the domain of a lucky few is the question that faces the next generation of elders, the baby boomers.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This is the best book I have read to date about the promise that transformative nursing homes will produce better lives for elders,caregivers, and families, and that this change is spreading far beyond the small group of initiators.
--Care Management Journals

Old Age in a New Age: The Promise of Transformative Nursing Homes [is] an engaging, compassionate and well-researched book that anyone who plans to live beyond the age of 80 would benefit from reading.
--Workforce Management

Old Age in a New Age is a proactive wake up call written in an easy-to-read style.
--Julie Ann Buss, RN, Inside GCM

Baker's book on the promise of transformative nursing homes is a step forward in understanding a process that has started and should be continued.

My 100-year-old mother is one of the many older people whose negative image of nursing homes made her plead with me never to put her in one. In Old Age in a New Age Beth Baker describes the ├źnew communities that look and feel much more like a home than a hospital both in their physical design and in the relationships that they nurture. After my mother reads Beth Baker's well written, thoughtful and authoritative account of this revolution in older residences, it should persuade her that she will be much happier in one of these than with a caretaker and the social isolation of a center city condominium.
--Leonard Hayflick, Past President, The Gerontological Society of America

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826515636
  • Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 1,019,080
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

A former hospital worker herself, BETH BAKER is a freelance journalist, a regular contributor to the Washington Post Health Section and the AARP Bulletin_ Baker is the winner of two Gold National Mature Media Awards for her reporting on aging.
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Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1. Promise You'll Never Put Me in a Nursing Home--Why We're in Denial

2. "I Almost Cried"--The Universal Longing for Home

3. I'll Give You Paris--Honoring Individual Choice

4. We Are Nothing--Empowering Staff

5. This Is My Home--Tearing Up the Blueprints

6. You Can Dance Alone or We'll Dance with You--Creating Community

7. From the Top of the Ferris Wheel--Breaking Barriers

8. Beyond Bingo--Finding Meaning in Late Life

9. Is It Too Much to Ask?--Welcoming Families

10. The Zen of Memory Loss--Living in the Moment

11. My Bags Are Packed--Dying in the Nursing Home

12. Too Good to be True?--Overcoming Obstacles

13. Baby Boomers' Legacy?--Building a Movement

Resident's Rights
Pioneer Network Values and Principles
Eden Alternative Principles

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