Upcoming Book: “Why Your Parents Receive Lousy Care in their Nursing Home and What We Can Do about It”

Other than convicted criminals, senior citizens are the only Canadians who are routinely kept in residential custody. The Victorian institutions that housed parentless children, impoverished people, mentally ill people, and adults and children with disabilities locked their doors permanently in the twentieth century. Residential schools for Indigenous children were shuttered, once and for all, a couple of decades ago and good riddance to those awful places. Nursing homes have bucked the trend.

My current book project, Why Your Parents Get Lousy Care in their Nursing Home, explains why we should deinstitutionalize elder care as well. The book begins with an unflinching appraisal of long-term care in Canada and concludes with ideas on how to dramatically, yet cheaply, improve elder care.

Chapters include:

  • Meet Aunt Ethel: An Average Day for an Average Nursing Home Resident
  • From Victorian Houses of Refuge to Nursing Homes: How We Ended Up Where We Are
  • Our Five-Alarm Demographic Emergency
  • Old People are Messy and Inconvenient: Better Call the Professionals!
  • The Road to Ruin is Paved in Paper by Bureaucrats with Good Intentions
  • The Food is Horrible in this Restaurant
  • Do You Know Who your Parent’s Roommate Is? The Homicidal Maniac in the Next Bed
  • Hey, It’s a Living! Who Really Benefits from Canada’s Long-Term Care Homes
  • Death is Not a Four-Letter Word
  • A Manifesto for Kind, Efficient, Community-Based Elder Care

As a registered nurse working in a long-term care facility, I’m well placed to write this book. I researched institutionalization as a social phenomenon for my MA. I have direct experience with elder care as a health professional and as a family member, yet I also view it from the bird’s eye perspective of a scholar. I don’t sugar coat the truth.

If you are interested in this project as a reader, agent, or publisher, please contact me by email at lehnen.renee@gmail.com or by text/phone at 905-616-0454. I also welcome questions, comments, and stories from people who live in long-term care and those who care about them.