As society ages, long-term care services will not only become more competitive, but also clients will be more demanding. Health care professionals need to thoroughly understand seniors and their needs and administrators need an understanding of the motivations and challenges of their staff as well. This work provides insight into the needs of primary clients (aging individuals and their families) while recognizing the unique characteristics of core staff (nursing assistants and nurses). Each chapter presents the voices of essential individuals within long-term care organizations, from the seniors who use services to the administrators who develop and manage them. The characteristics and needs of all stakeholders in long-term care are revealed in data from interviews and workplace observations. Never before has a collection of study results been collated to provide a rich, intimate portrait of the vital aspects of long-term care. Listening to the Voices of Long-Term Care addresses the humanity behind these services, and prepares readers to provide more sensitive, responsive assistance to their clients.
Listening to the Voices of Long-Term Care presents voices of key stakeholders in long-term care. The first voices heard are of aging individuals and their families. Readers hear from seniors with varying needs including those living in their own homes and using the services of home care agencies, and those adjusting to congregate living in assisted living facilities or nursing homes. The voices of seniors in the early moments of using services and of those who have lived many years within the long term care system are heard; reflections center on elements of contentment and recognized fears. Remaining chapters give expression to the voices of long-term care staff including nursing assistants, nurses, directors of nursing, and administrators. Through these voices, readers glimpse a typical day in a nursing home, assisted living facility, and home care agency. Work satisfaction as well as challenges and factors contributing to burnout are voiced. Listening to the Voices of Long-Term Care explores the human complexities encountered in the design and delivery of long-term care services. Readers' understanding of those receiving long- term care services is deepened, strengthening their professional commitment to provide sensitive, responsive assistance to those they serve.
Janet R. Buelow teaches in the health services administration program at the University of South Dakota and has personally fulfilled many of the roles described in this book. Since 1985, her research has focused on management practices and their impact on aging clients as well as the nursing staff in long-term care facilities. Her studies have been conducted in nursing homes, home care agencies, respite care centers, assisted-living facilities, and adult day care centers; she has examined the issues of long-term care in both highly urbanized areas and rural locations. A unique trait of her work is that her research always includes interviewing clients, as well as surveying frontline workers, nurses and administrators.