Even government long-term care (LTC) services rating programs developed by patient advocates often tend to assume that the patients will be helpless invalids who have to depend on others to monitor, evaluate and manage their care.
These days, however, many of the elderly people and disabled people who are moving into LTC facilities or using home-based LTC services have computers, Internet connections, and Web-based message board and rating service accounts.
Some LTC users can lash out with a 1-star rating or an angry essay when care fails to meet their expectations, and the number of users with Web communication access is growing.
Health Affairs — a traditional academic journal that focuses on health care finance and health care delivery systems — is highlighting the power of the care user’s own voice in shaping care this month by publishing an essay on care by Martin Bayne, an author and former journalist who lives in an assisted living facility in Center Valley, Pa.
Bayne says the facility is clean and well-run and has good, plentiful food, but that, from a patient’s perspective, it has many shortcomings, such as sinks that are inaccessible to patients who are in wheelchairs and a lack of a wheel-chair-accessible exercise room.