Elder Uncared

Although the cover story “Being Senior” (April 19) addressed several facets of this topic, one important side was omitted. Upon reading the article, one might get the impression that living at Levindale’s new state-of-the-art residential quarters is a wonderful way to live out one’s rem-aining years. If a person is extremely wealthy and is able to afford these plush apartments in these brand new luxury buildings, then that’s OK. But, no mention was made of the cost in living in such a facility.  … What about the individuals whose economic resources are modest or even minimal? What details were provided concerning their living conditions at Levindale?  What about people whose health is on the decline, people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, what are their living conditions like at Levindale or other nursing homes?

When I was a volunteer at Levindale for eight years in the 1990s, I saw firsthand a stark picture of living conditions for those seriously ill and unable to afford personal nursing assistants for their care.  … The scene left a lot to be desired.  Today, Levindale has a much more inviting lobby than in the 1990s, and there are adorable animals roaming around the facility.  But I question if the beautiful lobby and endearing pets can attend to the sick patients who require special assistance with their bathroom and eating needs.

I know Levindale has many good and sincere people on its staff, [and] even though I have focused here on Levindale, I believe the same concerns are applicable to most of the nursing homes in our state. It’s a sorry state of affairs for many seniors.

Perhaps a larger part of the blame should be placed on our community for ignoring or allowing these conditions.  When was the last time you visited a nursing home?

Ralph Jaffe
Baltimore

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