It Shouldn't Be This Way

It Shouldn't Be This Way

The Failure of Long-term Care

Book - 2005
Rate this:
Book News
Brother and sister authors Kane (long-term care and aging, Minnesota School of Public Health) and West (St. Joseph's College) tell the story of their mother's final days in America's long-term care system. Finding the experience to be profoundly negative, they discuss their mother's experience in an effort to demonstrate the failures of the system and to offer their own recommendations on how it can be improved by institutions and through policy. In separate chapters they cover the response to their mother's initial stroke, rehabilitation, assisted living, the dementia unit, the nursing home, medical personnel and hospitals, informal care, and the end of life. Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Vanderbilt Univ Pr
The failure of long-term care is the country's best-kept embarrassing secret. Almost every adult in the United States will either enter a nursing home or have to deal with a parent or other relative who does. Studies show that 40 percent of all adults who live to age sixty-five will enter a nursing home before they die, while even more will use another form of long-term care.

Part memoir, part practical guide, part prescription for change, It Shouldn't Be This Way is a unique look at the problems of long-term care. Robert L. Kane, a highly experienced physician and gerontologist, and his sister, Joan C. West, tell the painful story of what happened to their mother after she suffered a debilitating stroke and spent the last years of her life in rehabilitation, assisted-living facilities, and finally a nursing home. Along the way, her adult children encountered some professionals who were kind and considerate but also many frustrations—inadequate care and the need to hire private duty aides, as well as poor communication and lack of coordination throughout the system. The situation, they found, proved far more difficult than it needed to be.

As the authors recount their mother's story, they impart various lessons they learned from each phase of the experience. They alert those who are confronting such situations for the first time about what they will likely face and how to approach the problems. Closing with a broader look at why long-term care is the way it is, they propose steps to make necessary reforms, including the development of national organizations to work for change. Their message to families, care professionals, and policy-makers could not be more urgent.

Publisher: Nashville : Vanderbilt University Press, c2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780826514882
Characteristics: 180 p. ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: West, Joan C. 1945-

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SMCL

To Top