Grandma needs a home

nursing home handbook

The Nursing Home Handbook
A Guide for Families

This was still in a collection as of this writing. Obviously a handbook on nursing homes from the late 1980s is out of date. Since a good portion of this book discusses costs, it is a weeder on that topic alone. Even what look to be generically good checklists ignore the technological changes that have happened since the late 1980s. WiFi anyone? Plenty of folks in their 80s and 90s are equipped with tablets and smart phones and staying connected will be a serious consideration.

Weed this poor outdated book, and get up to date information. Librarians, think about how you can improve or expand your outreach to this population.

Already aging,


back cover




  1. There are also a broader range of options for older people now. It’s my understanding that assisted living barely existed in 1989, for instance. And the prices in the example above are clearly dated.

  2. I’d have loved to have found a comfortable place for my husband for $55,000 back in 2009. He died within 2 weeks of entering (advanced Alzheimer’s) but the first month was $6,000.

    Hasn’t the internet made handbooks like these obsolete?

  3. Yes, this is completely off the wall these days. Unless your loved one has suffered a very serious health crisis, most older people make their own choices about retirement communities. Continuing care places are very popular because residents start in independent apartments and move into more supervised living facilities as advancing age and/or deteriorating health dictate.

    Out this goes!

  4. I love in the checklist, whether “Resident is ‘allowed’ a phone”? Hello! Mobile / cell phones these days are so ubiquitous that that alone is an obsolete question unless we are talking people with severe mental issues. (Alzheimers, dementia, etc.)
    As for “Access to a public phone and privacy for it’s use”, well, see comments on personal phones above.
    “Fresh drinking water” Are we finding a nursing home or a kennel?
    Oh and they don’t mention cleanliness, either. How often are the rooms / hallways swept, cleaned, etc? Sheets changed how often? That would be a big one for me.
    I could go on, but I won’t.
    I will add, however that these days, you also really need to check accreditation and complaint histories, if any. (Should be available online.) As well as staff qualifications. (Another biggie.) There have just been too many scandals recently, not to be careful.

  5. When my great aunt went to the “rest home” her biggest concern was who her roommate would be. Her first one had an imaginary friend. I don’t think fresh water was a problem. It was around the time this book came out and I am pretty sure the cover looks familiar.


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