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Changing demographics in nursing homes in New York State

Albany County Legislator Dr. Carolyn McLaughlin conducted research on quality of life, elder care and health disparities in New York State as part of her doctorate.

A key part of that, she says, was understanding the quality of life of Black residents in nursing homes. As I spoke with executive directors about the changing demographics in their nursing home, it became clear that there is still much to learn. The nursing home model was built around a predominantly white, homogenous population, but now more Hispanic, Asian, and African American residents live in nursing homes and may have different needs.

Another major discussion point in the discussion about elderly care is age discrimination. We all work with people of different ages or generations and it is important that the older generation gives a positive view of where they are in life. It’s about turning “I’m having a senior moment” into “I’m thinking back on all the wisdom I’ve acquired over the years.” Changing the language around ageism will allow the older generation to share that wisdom and experience.

When it comes to what we can do for seniors, it is essential to look at the financial side. How do we help adults where your house is located? First of all, we don’t want to tax people out of their homes. And secondly, we want to ensure that they have access to all the services that can ensure that they can continue to live a quality life, or to the hospital services available. All those social services that are necessary to keep you comfortable in your home – that could be transportation or that could be activities. Research shows that being isolated or alone can be the equivalent of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, in terms of the physical and mental effects it can have on you.

You can watch the full interview with Dr. Watch Carolyn McLaughlin in the video above. And don’t forget to take a look at the biggest issues impacting New York State on In Focus with JoDee Kenney – every Sunday on Spectrum news 1.