Re: “Deaths in adult homes” (TNT, 9-13).
As the owners of an eldercare consulting company that provides options and resources for families seeking care for their elderly loved ones, we read this article with great distress, knowing it would create fear for many families.
Obviously complaints to the state regarding abuse and neglect need to be taken seriously and investigated promptly, and those responsible dealt with severely. We have toured, interviewed and referred to hundreds of homes, and there is a small handful that we would never refer to. But there are hundreds more that are wonderful options for the families that just aren’t able to provide care themselves.
There are experienced, kind and giving caregivers who provide loving care to the end of life. It’s not easy work; most of them believe it’s their “mission” or “calling” in life. Although there are times that certain medical conditions require a skilled nursing facility (SNF), most elderly persons do not benefit from institutional care for long-term custodial care.
The true typical staffing ratio in an SNF is one staff person for every nine to 15 residents. In an adult family home it is one or two staff persons for every three to six residents.
The key is to be informed and ask the right questions regarding experience, review state surveys, obtain references and interview caregivers. We’ve received many thanks over the years from grateful families whose loved ones were provided dignity, quality care and love in AFHs.