- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 21, 2000

Books

• "Don't Put Me in a Nursing Home," by Claude Amarnick, Garrett Publishing, 1996. The author argues that people should avoid the nursing-home option for their spouses or parents and choose the home care alternative. The book also offers tips on how caregivers can give the love and care that their spouses need and keep their sanity.

• "Life Worth Living: How Someone You Love Can Still Enjoy Life in a Nursing Home," by William H. Thomas, VanderWyk & Burnham, 1996. The author, a nursing-home medical director in upstate New York, offers what he calls the "Eden alternative." In it, the loneliness, helplessness and boredom of life in a conventional facility are obliterated and "care" is substituted for superficial "treatment."

Organizations

• Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman, part of each state's Department of Health and Human Services, visits nursing homes regularly and investigates complaints. Local offices can be reached by calling the National Association of State Units on Aging at 202/898-2578.

• National Family Caregivers Association, 10400 Connecticut Ave., Kensington, Md. 20895-3944. Phone: 800/896-3650. Web: www.nfcacares.org. The NFCA is a nonprofit organization that helps educate and empower home caregivers.

• The American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, 901 E St. NW, Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20004-2011. Phone: 202/783-2242. This organization helps seniors find nursing homes and services that can meet their needs.

• Iona Senior Services, 4125 Albemarle St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20016-2105. Phone: 202/966-1055. Web site: www.iona.org. Iona offers plenty of programs for married seniors living alone, such as an Adult Day Health Center and counseling and financial services.

On line:

• The National Eldercare Referral Systems' Web site (www.CareScout.com) has links for needs assessments for seniors and an on-line version of "The Insider's Guide to America's Nursing Homes," by Robert Bua.

• The National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health, has information on planning for long-term care, including links to other helpful programs and sites, at www.nih.gov/nia/health/agepages/longterm.htm.



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