I have never worked in a nursing home. As a kid, I participated in mandatory choir concerts or shortened segments of dance recitals at the local nursing home where we uncomfortably showcased our talents to an audience of mostly immobile, but very appreciative older adults. It smelled strange and I was afraid to eat the sugar cookies and drink the punch, as if they might contain the recipe to becoming so aged you had to live in this place in front of a TV, when not subjected to random performances from local children. My own grandparents did stuff like fishing, swimming, cooking, wood working, and gardening. I expected to be that kind of ‘old.’
As a discharge planner, I found myself tasked with placing frail patients into nursing homes. The popular ones (glossy websites and slick pamphlets) were usually full. When I asked about the reputation of others, a colleague shook her head and said, ‘green walls and urine.’ Though I grew accustomed to the task, it seems shameful there have not been more good options for our most senior adults.
The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our website.