A December 31, 2010 New York Times story by Pam Belluck titled “Giving Alzheimer’s Patients Their Own Way, Even Chocolate,” describes recent innovations in long-term care. In particular, the article describes at length what is being done for Alzheimer’s patients at the Beatitudes campus in Phoenix, AZ.
It seems Beatitudes is going out of its way not to be a conventional nursing facility. Strict institutional schedules deliberately yield to individual needs. For example, meals are served at all hours. Patients can eat whatever they want and follow whatever schedule makes them happiest.
From the article:
“Dementia patients at Beatitudes are allowed practically anything that brings comfort, even an alcoholic ‘nip at night’,” said Tena Alonzo, director of research. “Whatever your vice is, we’re your folks,” she continued.
All this makes great sense to me.
Being cared for at Beatitudes costs money. Lots of it. Yet this article doesn’t mention anywhere how much Alzheimer’s care at Beatitudes costs. This is the first thing I wanted to know when I read the article, and I’m sure I’m not the only reader wanting this information. The media often seems to sweep such useful information under the carpet, which continues to amaze me.
It’s a continuing mystery to me how and why the public, often aided and abetted by the media, suffers a “disconnect” when it comes to dealing with the need for responsible long-term care planning that can fund wonderful options like Beatitudes.