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Quality care for those living in nursing homes
By Jane Marshall


August 13, 2006

To the Editor:

Consumer Reports researchers evaluated three of the most recent state inspection reports for about 16,000 nursing homes in the United States. Only a limited number of nursing homes met the quality standards of Consumer Reports.

Unfortunately many frail elderly people have no choice but to spend their last days in a nursing home.

There was a time when a family member who was not considered community worthy was placed in a back room of the house and left there to live out his or her life. Tragically, far too many nursing homes have become the back rooms of our time.
The fear of living in a nursing home looms larger for far too many people than the fear of dying. It shouldn't have to be this way. It doesn't have to be this way.

Those of us with compassion in our hearts should work to assure that the 1.5 million vulnerable old people living in nursing homes in the United States receive quality care, that they are treated with dignity, that there will be no more "back rooms" where the most fragile among us live lives of quiet desperation, and that physical death is the only death they will know.

Jane Marshall
Dover, TN - USA



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