Table of Contents
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Nursing Homes and Assisted Living:
The Family's guide to Making Decisions and Getting Good Care

Part  I: Caring Decisions

1. When Someone You Love Goes into Care:

 Becoming a Caregiver; Becoming the "Family Member" of Someone in Care


2. Deciding About Care

How to Talk About Care; Choosing the Right Time; Stress; When a Parent Chooses to Live at Risk; Your Legal     Right to Make Decisions for Your Relative;: A Warning; Advance Directives and Medical Decisions

Lydia Jean

3. Family Decision Making

 Family Relationships and Care decisions; How to Make Family Decisions; Keep Your Relative Involved


4. Guilt, Loss, and Grief

What is Guilt; Conflicts that Give Rise to Guilt; Families and Guilt. Not All Relationships were Ideal; ; Guilt and Dementia; Dealing with Guilt; Letting Go; Grief and Loss; Handling Grief


Part II: The Nursing Home

5. About Nursing Homes

Where to Start Finding a Nursing Home; Keeping Your Relative at Home; Types and Levels of Care; Applying for Care; About Good Care and Good Caring; On Abuse; Specialized Dementia Care Units; Costs; Nursing Homes and Legal Responsibility


6. Visiting the Home

Staffing; Programming;  Policies; Dining; Physical Plan; Surveys and Accreditation

John and Joyce

7. Who Does What in a Nursing Home

Administrator; Personal Care; Nursing; Dietician and Food Services; Social Worker; Recreation; Rehabilitation; Housekeeping; and building Maintenance; Pharmacy; Physicians; Other Staff Members


8. The Nursing Home System

How the System Works; A Typical Day


Part III: Moving In and Settling In

9. Preparations for Moving Day

How to Prepare Your Relative; Get to Know the Home in Advance; Equipment; Valuables; Clothing and Laundry; Plan ahead for Moving day; Plan to Take Care of Yourself


10. Moving Day

Stay Calm; If Your Relative Refuses to Go; When You First Arrive


11. Settling In

Resident Adjustment; Changes and Differences in Behavior; Dementia and Behavior; On Staying Healthy; Your  Emotional Adjustment; The Gap in Your Life; Phases of Adjustment; Acceptance; New Relationships


Part IV: Being the Family Member of Someone in Care

12. Care and Care Planning

Basic Standards of Care; How Care is Organized; Care Conferences; Charts; Medication and Care Planning; Medication and Pain Control; Restraints; Toileting and Incontinence; Falls; Bedsores; Roommates


13. Communication and Problem Solving

 Working the System; Communication; When Things Go Missing; Your Role; Making Complaints; Throwing Bouquets

Alvin (Part 1)

14. Visiting

How Often to Visit; Visiting Someone with Dementia; Going Out and Going Home; Ending a Visit; Companions; A Few Words About Sex


15. Out-of-Town Caregivers

Professional Geriatric Care Managers


16. Making a Home Better

Include the Resident in the Change; Individual Actions; Working with Other Families; Working with the System;


17. Difficult Decisions and the End of Life

Living and Dying; Talking about Death; Facing Death; Younger People and Death; After Death; Saying Goodbye to the Home


Alvin (Part 2)


  1. State Ombudsperson Offices

  2. Accessing Care in Canada

  3. Nursing Home Residents' Rights under U.S. Law

  4. Questionnaires


Websites, Books, Organizations