Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nursing Homes are NOT the Answer...

Over the past 20 years, more and more Americans have developed into a trend of depositing our elderly into nursing homes, assisted living facilities and the like. Recent studies have shown that over half of these seniors do not require the type of intensive medical supervision nursing homes and intermediate care facilities were designed to provide. These facilities were established for seniors who are in, or are very close to hospice level medical condition, and who require intense, 24 hour medical supervision which can only be properly performed by trained medical staff and support personnel.

Despite this exclusive design purpose, over 50% of the seniors who are registered in nursing homes across the country are there today simply because they have no place else to go, or because there is nobody at home who can assist them with basic life needs such as preparing meals, washing clothes, or bathing. These people are not seriously ill, and many can be expected to live for as long as another 20 years or more.

Not even addressing those facilities, which do exist, that function with less than their clients' best interests in mind, even the noblest of facilities and administrations can't constantly provide a setting where each patron can excel to the level of his or her own abilities. These facilities must still concentrate the bulk of their efforts and resources on providing the intense medical supervision they were designed to provide, to that other 50% of their residents who desperately need those medical services and constant, around the clock supervision.

Many families place their loved ones into these facilities with the belief that the huge monthly cost they or their insurance pays will go to providing their parent or loved one with an elite level of care. They go away believing that the monthly cost of residency, which often exceeds $15,000.00, goes directly to the resident it is being provided on behalf of, but this is simply not true in ANY such nursing facility. Even worse, the facilities do nothing to set the record straight and many even go as far as to encourage and reinforce that misguided belief. Instead, the facility collects the monthly fees from all it's residents and distributes it on an as needed basis to those residents the administrative and medical staffs respectively determine are in greatest need of the resources. This means that your loved one, who's only medical condition might be mild to moderate dementia, will actually benefit very little from the monthly dollars provided to the facility on their behalf.

On the surface, this model seems almost fair and understandable. After all, the day will eventually come when your loved one will need more advanced medical services and at that point, the cost of their care will exceed the monthly monies proved for them by their respective funding source(s). When that happens, funds provided on behalf of other less needy residents will be diverted for their care so it all comes out in the end, right?


The problem with this model is just as easy to see if you make a slight adjustment to your perspective. During those years where your family member was in better overall health and still enjoyed an advanced level of independence, that same roughly $15,000.00 per month could have gone toward providing them with a much greater quality of life than anything provided to anyone in a nursing home setting. Even in our own lives now, imagine your quality of life on a $15,000.00 per month budget. Would you imagine living in anything similar to a nursing home or assisted living type of setting? Surely not.

In fact, the cost of simple companionship and supervision could very easily be provided without even putting a dent in that $15,000.00 per month budget. SO what would you do with the rest of that money? What would you imagine your parents would do? Or your grandparents? Would you or they spend your afternoons watching old movies or playing trivia games in a clean but institutional style multi-purpose room someplace? Hardly. You would want to get your hair and nails done, lounge in a spa, swim in a luxurious indoor pool, play bingo for hours, learn how to prepare amazing bakery delights from accomplished chefs, plant flowers, make bouquets as gifts or decorations, sew, make ceramics, take music lessons, learn how to operate a computer by taking one on one lessons, continue your education through certificate and degree programs, and any number of similar events and activities, NONE of which are continuously available at ANY nursing home or assisted living facility anywhere in America, NOT EVEN IN BEVERLY HILLS!

It is for the these reasons, my hard fought battles with institutions over my mother's care and my amazement at the list of benefits and services my mother receives in her golden years which made me realize the need for, and then helped me develop the concept for The Golden Years Adult Day Services Centers.

Adult Day Services Centers are NOT nursing homes or assisted living facilities by any means. We will provide 100% free door to door transportation to and from our facility each day. This means that your loved one will be home with you, where they belong, each and every night, but will be with a tremendous amount of their peers during the day while you are at work or school.

All 3 meals are provided to our patrons each and every day and we will be open from 7am to 7pm, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. We will pick your loved one up as early as 5:30am under certain circumstances and can provide for them as late as necessary, even as far as keeping them overnight in our warm respite suite. We realize that there are times that caregivers will want to go away for a weekend or even longer and that it would be impractical to bring an elderly parent or grandparent along.

Our prototype facility, currently being constructed to provide a mall-like atmosphere, will provide our patrons with the freedom to move from one segment to another depending on their individual needs or tastes. Do you prefer to play bingo from 9am to noon? No problem. Horticulture from 2pm to 4pm? Anytime. A manicure from 6pm to 7pm? It's entirely up to the patron.

For more information on TGY senior Centers, our program, or when you can expect one of our facilities to open near you, please visit our website at (please forgive the fact that our site is still under construction) or email me personally at and I will be very happy to provide you with as much specific information about our program that you may desire. In the meantime, please stay tuned for more important articles on ArticleBase, our soon to come video podcasts and webinars on YouTube, or check out our blogs at:, and We look forward to receiving any feedback, whether positive or negative, you might care to provide. ALL ideas are ALWAYS welcome at TGY!

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