Summary: The graying of America, a financial journal reported, "is a guaranteed opportunity for someone. How the nursing home industry can exploit it is the real question." For sociologist Timothy Diamond, this assertion raised an altogether different question: How has the day-to-day care of the elderly come to be defined as an industry in the United States -- and how, as a business, does it work? Diamond, who trained as a nursing assistant and spent over a year ...show more working in Chicago area nursing homes, recounts his experiences in Making Gray Gold, an absorbing, original account of how -- and how well -- nursing homes work. Nursing assistants, who do the bulk of caring work in nursing homes, are for the most part minority women, few of whom earn enough to support themselves and their families. Diamond observes many nursing assistants working in ways that managed to bolster the dignity and self-esteem of their elderly patients -- but put themselves at odds with the priorities of the nursing home administrations. Making Gray Gold shows how these priorities, responding to the demands of corporate balance sheets and government regulations, tend to distort the central daily rituals of life in nursing homes and erode the component of quality care. Diamond draws on a wealth of research findings and recent advances in women's studies, medical sociology, gerontology, and philosophy to link daily life in a nursing home to the wider political, economic, and cultural forces that shape and constrain it. He conveys the conditions of nursing home work from the viewpoint of the overwhelmingly female caregivers and residents. The author's careful research, firsthand experience, and thoughtful analysis demonstrate in a compelling way the price that business-as-usual policies extract from the elderly as well as those whose work it is to care for them. In this account of nursing home residents and their caregivers, the author argues that "residents and workers share common experiences of poverty, powerlessness, and regimentation." (Libr J) Index. ...show lessEdition/Copyright: 92
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