Here is an nice example of change that is moving in the right direction.
The tell-tale sign that this is Mary Deffner’s home might be the Christmas cookie flour sprinkled across her purple sweater. It might also be the grandmotherly look she gives the children dancing in front of her, or the caged finches chirping behind her.
The 73-year-old Beacon Ridge nursing home resident doesn’t view her future at the home as a death sentence. She may be living out her later years with 120 or so other old souls needing daily assistance, but she’s also among live plants, colorful murals, wandering animals, friendly staff and regular visitors from the day care center next door.
“It seems trite to say it, but it’s like a family here. I’m very comfortable,” says Ms. Deffner, a former nurse from Shaler, who uses a wheelchair and who posed as horror movie villain Freddy Krueger to entertain the children at a Halloween party this year.
The facility, which embraces the modern “Eden Alternative” vision of nursing home care, shows how the industry is trying to shed its longtime, negative image. Occasional horror stories of blatant neglect and more frequent tales of frustrating mediocrity, by way of unanswered call lights and undiagnosed maladies, have created a sense of dread across the country for many families faced with a first-time nursing home admission.
A set of positive signs in Pennsylvania indicates the need for such fears may be diminished
Read the whole thing here…