When I mention to people that I work full time in a nursing home, I often see reflected on their faces a measure of the distaste that society has for nursing homes. I suspect tax collectors experience a similar phenomenon. As a geriatrician, I recognize that nursing homes are a necessity for some, but that nursing home placement implies a series of trade-offs of cost and institutional environment versus the provision of complicated and relatively intensive care. Generally this makes us consider the nursing home as a placement of last resort. Although much attention has been paid to factors triggering nursing home placement from the home or hospital, much less attention has been devoted to factors that prevent a short-term, putatively rehabilitative stay in a nursing home from converting to a permanent long-term placement.
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I am employed by a skilled nursing home, and serve on the Board of Directors of On Lok, Inc., which operates PACE programs.
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