Health Care / Consumer Guides / Aging

Consumer Guide to Long-Term Care
Gary R. Ilminen

A one-stop, easy-to-use resource for consumers and their families

"Knowledge is power," advises Gary Ilminen.

Entry into the long-term health care system often happens suddenly. A mental or physical breakdown seriously weakens you or your parents' health, leaving you unable to cope with a host of complex decisions, rules, and information. Families must nevertheless make rapid, vital decisions about long-term care, often involving a nursing home. At the same time, new state laws and federal regulations make it nearly impossible for consumers to understand the rules of long-term care that apply in their case-let alone how to use them. Such traumatic situations often lead families into a state of chaos, confusion, and panic-until now.

Consumer Guide to Long-Term Care provides the first comprehensive guide to making decisions about nursing homes, home care, assisted living, and other options. It empowers consumers and their families, telling them how to protect their rights and advocate for a high standard of care and excellent quality of life. This essential reference offers key information, in one convenient source, on where to find the most up-to-date, accurate facts quickly and easily. Author Gary Ilminen takes the mystery out of such topics as managed care, prospective pricing, and bundled services. He explains how to deal with choosing a facility, paying for care, and other difficult issues, including the right to refuse care. Equipped with this book, you can make informed choices that ensure the best possible experience for yourself or a family member when long-term care becomes a necessity.

"The clear, concise, and easy-to-follow format provides critical information needed to make difficult decisions. This book is a must-read for adult children of the elderly and anyone working in any capacity in long-term care."Pamela M. Mokler, gerontologist and president of Quality Living Solutions

"Gary Ilminen clearly knows this field. . . . He describes what can be a pleasant and rewarding experience for the future nursing home resident as well as the family."Gerald Kempthorne, M.D., former nursing home medical director and recipient of "Physician of the Year" award from the Wisconsin Association of Nursing Homes

"Consumer Guide to Long-Term Care brings complex, highly regulated, and economically challenging long-term care issues to a centralized resource."
Bruce A. Kraus, M.D., president of Cornucopian Health Concepts

These are the chapters you'll find in Consumer Guide to Long-Term Care

1. Long-Term Care Defined
2. Paying for Care
3. HMOs: Managed Care in Long-Term Care
4. Alzheimer's Disease
5. Choosing a Long-Term Care Facility: It Isn't Just a Building
6. Home, Safe Home: Requirements for a Safe, Homelike Environment
7. Your Bill of Rights: Protecting Your Rights in the Long-Term Care Setting
8. For the Record: Your Rights to See Your Medical Record (and What You're Likely to Find)
9. The Minimum Data Set: Getting to Know You (And Why That's Important)
10. Quality of Care: Defining Standards of Care
11. Is There a Doctor in the House: Who Chooses Your Doctor and What Rules Apply to Physician Services?
12. People Skills: What Consumers Should Expect Their Caregivers to Know
13. Recreation Therapy: Having Fun in a Long-Term Care Facility
14. Social Services: Helping Life Go On
15. Hear My Voice: Privacy, Dignity, Self Determination, Participation, and Accommodation of Needs
16. Saying "No" to Care: Your Right to Refuse
17. Advance Directive: Terms of Empowerment
18. Full Code, Slow Code, No Code: Decoding the Lingo of Life Support
19. Is This Pill Really Necessary? Freedom from Unnecessary Drugs
20. Powerful Stuff: Rules That Protect You from the Misuse of Psychoactive Medications
21. Don't Tie Me Down! The Right to Be Free from the Use of Physical Restraints
22. Freedom from Abuse, Neglect, and Fear: The Right to Safety and Security
23. Survey and Enforcement: Tough New Rules to Ensure That Long-Term Care Facilities Provide Consistent, High-Quality Care

  Gary R. Ilminen, R.N., has served as director of nursing in both nursing homes and in home health and currently works at the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services in the Bureau of Health Care Financing, Managed Care Section.

Gary Ilminen, an industry consultant as well as the author of the Consumer Guide to Long-Term Care did an interview with Karl Ebert of the Oshkosh Northwestern newspaper of interest to readers, which can be accessed at archive 23534 and archive 12678.

Gary Ilminen, RN, was interviewed Saturday, May 24, on Jacqueline Marcell's Internet radio program, "Coping with Caregiving," discussing quality of care issues in nursing home care. (Jacqueline is the author of, Elder Rage, or Take My Father· Please! How to Survive Caring for Aging Parents. If you missed the live broadcast, the interview will be archived for listening-on-demand at Coping with Caregiving, (Scroll down to recent archives. Listen via a free download: Windows Media Player, available at the site.)


Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

October 1999
LC: 99-014422 RA
256 pp.          8 1/2 x 11
ISBN 978-0-299-16420-1  
Cloth $55.00 s
ISBN 978-0-299-16424-9   
Paper $19.95 t

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