read “Hello, Nurse” [June 7, 2007] with interest because my
mother is aging, and as a single person in her 50s, I am forced
to consider my own long-term care. While I agree that no one
is ‘clamoring to get into a nursing home,’ they do provide
critical services and many of us will not have any other option.
We may prefer to stay in our own homes and pray we have adequate
numbers of people willing to assume our care; but there’s
no guarantee that will be possible and the concept has its
Nursing homes have agencies that oversee them. Many people
see the client and would witness sores or bruises that need
attention, or worse, may signal abuse. Who will oversee the
care in an individual home? Who will know that a patient has
Given the low pay we provide to caretakers, these jobs don’t
always attract the best candidates. No offense to the thousands
who provide excellent care; but even they have to admit that
the potential for abuse and theft exists and will be even
more prevalent with no oversight.
While we can hope for short-term care, we must address the
fact that many need 24-hour care, and will need it until they
die. Then we have the mentally ill population that has even
more unique needs. Even the young mentally ill are not adequately
treated, so how can we hope to address the aging mentally
If people are forced to stay home to care for aging parents,
the government will have to support both parties. Someone
better get their pencils out, and figure out how that saves
money, and explain it to me. We need to maintain, and even
grow, the beds in affordable facilities.
We don’t have to look far to see what happens when the government
gets out of the nursing-home industry. Look to the western
part of the state, as close as Montgomery and Fulton counties,
and ask them what happened to their elderly when county agencies
Many of us will need this care in the next 10 to 20 years.
We’d better ensure that the facilities are built and supported
now if we want them there when we need them. Fight the consolidation,
fight closures, fight for adequate staffing, pay and care.
When you’re too old and feeble to fight for yourself, you’ll
be glad you took up this battle, because once they’re gone,
they’re gone for good.
“Breaking Down the Legal Jargon” [May 17], the establishment
of the help desk at the Albany County Family Court was incorrectly
credited to Olivia Nix and Willow Baer as founders of Albany
Law School’s Pro Bono Society. The help desk was established
by the Albany County Bar Association, which asked the Pro
Bono Society for its assistance to staff the desk.
“Headbanger’s Ball” [Live, May 17], the band Machine Head
were incorrectly identified as being Canadian. They are from
“Hello, Nurse?” [June 7], it was incorrectly reported that
Albany Comptroller Mike Conner’s father lived in Albany County
Nursing Home. Conners’ father was evaluated in 1993 by ACNH,
but was not accepted after evaluation.
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