Friday, May 4, 2012

Nonprofit nursing homes are better

I was pleased to see the guest opinion on "Nonprofit vs. for- profit nursing: Is there a difference?" (April 11). For seven years, I traveled back and forth from New York to oversee my parents' care, and in 2005 I moved them to Hailey, planning to get them their own living space. A few weeks after they arrived, it was clear that their health was declining and they would have to be in a nursing home, with my father needing skilled nursing and my mother in assisted living.

Wanting them as close by as possible, my only choice was to move them into a tiered-care facility in Twin Falls. My father died shortly after the move, but for almost seven years, I traveled to Twin Falls to see my mother, who eventually had to move into skilled nursing. Late last year I started volunteering at Blaine Manor, and my eyes were opened to the loving, compassionate, dedicated staff there. I knew I wanted my mother in their care as opposed to the feel of the institutionalized, for-profit nursing home that she had been residing at in Twin Falls.

My mother moved to Blaine Manor in mid-February and was treated like a queen with the dignity, respect and compassion that all elderly, ill or disabled people deserve. It was not just the nurses and CNAs that provided the utmost of care, it was also the administrators and the activity staff who paid attention to her around the clock.

My mother had had severe dementia for many years, but in her time at Blaine Manor, I saw the sparkle in her eye return and she was talkative, witty and, most importantly, surrounded by love. Family, friends and volunteers often visited her. On March 2, my mother made her transition, completely at peace, as were her family and friends.

Without Blaine Manor, the experience of her passing would have been completely different. I am grateful to the precious gift I had of spending every day with my mother for the last 11 beautiful days of her life.

It was not until the last few months that I was aware of the difference of nonprofit care vs. for-profit care. I sure wish I had educated myself on this topic years ago. We are all aging, and what a blessing to have the Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation and its committed board members and volunteers working toward having a facility in our area that will accommodate a much-needed three-tiered facility.

Alex B. Taylor


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