Calling all 77 million baby boomers! This blog site encourages feedback and discussion on how we will spend our concluding years and what quality of life we will have. Change is needed -- we, the people need to fuel change before our time comes!
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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Intro to Elderpride

This is my first venture into blogging – it’s just that nothing is being said about the plight of America’s elderly population and how they are treated in their final years – and so I just have to speak up! The purpose of this blog is to dissect a complex issue and garner the interest of the 77 million baby boomers to put their heads together and convince America’s Congress to fix it before we need it! I don’t want to be blogging alone. Please join me with your comments!

I am doing this on behalf of the Dorotha C. White Foundation, a not for profit organization, established for the purpose of creating sweeping change in our nation’s capital that will result in improved quality of life for senior citizens especially the frail elderly who are using skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes either for transitional or residential care.

First and foremost, I realize that it will take a nation to make the kind of changes that will improve life for the elderly. The term Elderpride was coined by the founders of the foundation to indicate what life would be like for an elderly individual if we were able to make the changes that would enable and encourage restorative care in our nation’s Long Term Care industry triggering a movement towards carehouses, and away from warehouses.

Right now, the dirty little secret that everyone hears about and no one talks about is that a high percentage of patients are doomed once they enter a nursing home. Doomed in the sense that they will not recover, they will be routinely diapered even if they are continent, and placed in a wheelchair in front of the TV day in and day out. That is what I am referring to as a warehouse. No one can recover that way. In order to restore a patient’s highest level of functioning that patient needs daily attention to help the patient be able to walk again, eat by themselves, take themselves to the bathroom, take their own shower, dress and groom themselves. That is the description of a carehouse.

For the most part, none of us likes this sad state of affairs – and who among us wants to go to a nursing home? Raise your hand. I don’t see any hands raised! Since we the people don’t know what to do about it, we tend to look the other way thinking it can’t be fixed. And the problem goes on and on. Because who wants to deal with this unpleasantness?

I am here to tell you it can be fixed. It is complex and there are no simple answers – but there are answers. And as a group, we the people need to convince our legislators that we want them to pay attention.

If you are with me so far, it is my goal to add a chapter a week to this blog to inform and educate whoever will listen in a series format. Stay tuned.