Nursing the Elderly
Every day, the population of elderly in US increases by the thousands. How will their needs be met in the future? What programs and services will they have access to? Will they live in nursing homes or will they benefit from home care? If they'll live in nursing homes, how will their life be? Many of the elderly are disabled or suffer from chronic illnesses, and as their number grows it will be crucial to understand how to deliver affordable and accessible healthcare that will meet their needs, and how to make nursing homes pleasant places to live in.
Over a span of several months I worked on a project about elderly care and visited four elderly living in different situations and participating in different health and social programs – two in a nursing home and two supported by programs that let them continue living at home. Barry and Doris live in The New Jewish Home in Manhattan, New York City, a nursing home that offers a lot of activities to the residents. Katy lives at home in a town north of Detroit and participated in a project MiCapable that sends healthcare professionals several times to participant's homes within a set period of time. Walter has been visiting SpiriTrust Lutheran's LIFE Center in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania twice a week for the last four years and is visited at his rural home once a week by a homecare aide from LIFE.
For Barry and Doris living in a nursing home is the only option and they appreciate the variety of services The New Jewish Home offers, from medical to musical. They made new friends and have an active life. Katy and Walter still live at home. They feel and hope that the programs they participate in will help them stay there as long as possible.
*This project was supported with Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation Fellowship
Barry has bandages on his feet changed almost every night at 4.30am.
Nurse Chirapon Praserdsuwan gives Barry eye-drops after she changes bandages on his feet.
Barry jokes with Angel Rivera, C.N.A., in the morning.
Occupational therapist Rachel Geller helps Barry maintain his grip strength.
Barry checks email on an iPad in his room.
Barry pulls himself ahead at the nursing home.
Barry Gersenhorn in the garden of The New Jewish Home.
C.N.A. massages Barry's back in the morning.
Marie Hilaire, C.N.A., gives Barry a bath in the morning.
Every morning, Barry gets a shave.
Barry at The New Jewish Home.
Once a week, Barry plays bingo at The Auditorium of The New Jewish Home.
Doris plays ukulele during musical hour.
Doris folds her clothes in her room.
Doris used to be an actress on Broadway.
Doris has lived at The New Jewish Home for five years.
Katy's spinal injury required modifications to her bathroom
Katy prepares to pick up her cane that fell on the floor.
Occupational therapist Stacy measure the strength of Katy's grip.
Katy exercises in her bedroom.
Katy discusses nutrition with MiCapable's registerd nurse Pam Stewart at her home.
Katy lives at home but since she has trouble walking she doesn't go out much. During one of the visits occupational therapist Stacy helped Katy go down a ramp outside her home.
Walter waits to be taken home after a visit to LIFE Center.
Walter visits the Center twice a week to exercise, socialise and get medical check-ups. If it was not for these visits, he'd spend most of the time at home watching TV.
Home care aide Diana chats with Walter while cleaning the floor of his home.
Walter exercises on a stepper at LIFE Center.
Walter prepares lunch at home.
Once a day, Walter measures his blood sugar.
Walter checks his mail. Occasionally, he still uses his car to run his errands.