Nursing Homes and The Lutheran Home for the Aging


Recently, I had the pleasure of having a personal tour of the Lutheran
Home for the Aging located in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. I chose this area of study
because it happened to be convenient in location for me as well as easily
accessible to a source of an interviewee that I felt comfortable with and who is
also very comfortable with myself. I find it much easier to conduct an
interview and get more relevant information from a source that I\'ve already had
former contact with and also established a friendship with. I interviewed, age
48, who was a social worker at the Lutheran Home for the Aging for 12 years
until she changed career paths that would benefit herself more as well as her
family. graduated from the University of with a Social Work degree and is
presently pursing a two year Dental Hygiene degree(Associate Degree). She
explained to me that at the time she was hired at the nursing home it was not
necessary for social workers to have to take a test in order to obtain a license
and a position in the social work field, a position that she held for twelve
years explained to me how she was "Grandfathered" into her social worker
position and did not have to take a test for a license until it was required
after years of responsible and professional work in the Home for the Aging.
The Lutheran Home for the Aging was founded in 1906 by John C. Koch,
with the motivation and desire to promote residential care for his fellow aging
Lutheran constituents. Along with the supportive interests of other Lutherans,
he purchased approximately eight acres of land. A large house on the property
served as the Home\'s first building and within a year of its founding, it had
reached a capacity of twenty members. Today the same desire and motivation has
increased the residential population to 313 members, age 65 and over. The
founders of the Home did more than provide a place to live for the Aging. They
founded a tradition of excellence and quality care that continues even to this
day. The mission of the home is to "take a leadership role in resident
satisfaction by providing superior services in a Christian atmosphere that meet
or exceed the expectations of each resident and his or her family" ("Lutheran
Home for the Aging" 1). Through the years, with renovations and expansions, the
facility has evolved into a nursing facility providing skilled nursing care and
related therapeutic care to all the residents 24 hours a day. The Lutheran Home
for the Aging is a non-profit organization and is a recognized service
organization of the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. The Home is governed by The
Board of Directors, which consists of men and women from various congregations
located throughout the Milwaukee area. They constantly review and evaluate the
quality of care in relationship to the purpose of the Home and are also in
control of delegating a responsible and competent administrator who is the
leader and manager of the Home.
There is a full array of highly trained and competent staff that keep
the Lutheran Home for the Aging running smoothly and up to standard. As I
researched what quality nursing homes should offer to those in need of a variety
of daily and sometimes complex assistance, I was surprised that this Home for
the Aging met most, if not all the criteria of a "model" nursing home. Some of
the services offered include personal , dietary, therapeutic, social,
recreational and nursing services. There are also meals, laundry facilities,
housekeeping, and 24-hour medical services provided by professional nursing care
and attending physicians. In addition, as most non-profit organizations homes,
there are religious services and counseling programs provided. Some of the
daily responsibilities and individual aspects of the diverse staff include the
following:

· The activities coordinator is a trained therapist or someone designated to
help and assist residents\' individual needs and create programs that provide
recreation, entertainment and therapy for the residents.

· The social service staff consists of social workers, counselors, and , in
some nursing homes, a psychologist who assist in coping of the emotional and
psychological aspects of aging, the transitional problems that may arise when
first entering an aging home, and daily problems and frustrations.

· A food service director oversees nursing homes\' daily meal program. Many
homes including the Lutheran Home for the Aging, have a Dietitian that meet the
individual daily requirements of each resident, whether therapeutic diet or
normal,