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Letter to the Editor: Nursing homes provide excellent care for elderly

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

To the editor:

Why is there such a stigma against nursing homes? I hear and read of arguments against and for nursing homes. I would like to add mine.

In 2002, when a husband and wife both work outside the home, there is better care for their parents in a good nursing home. They cannot give their parents around-the-clock care like a good nursing home can. There is professional nursing care, physical therapy, dining service, dietary service, maid and laundry service, beauty shop, barber shop and social-service help with Medicaid and Medicare, plus instant ambulance calls when needed.

Anyone who has lived as long as I have and remembers the poor farms during the Great Depression will appreciate the modern-day nursing homes. There were only a few people then who could keep their parents in their homes. There were large families and very little work. Men were standing in long bread lines with a burlap sack to carry their commodities in. Parents were placed in a poorhouse. The man who ran the poorhouse was paid $10 a person by the counties in which they lived. I visited a poorhouse with my mother one time, and it was not giving good care like the nursing homes do today.

Let us help our parents live a longer and better life in a nursing home, not home alone.

SYDNEY E. RICHARDS

Cape Girardeau