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Expert in eldercare

Eldercare

Marilyn Rantz has won the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award four times, most recently for her book, How to Find the Best Eldercare.

Marilyn Rantz,
Helen E. Nahm chair and professor at the Sinclair School of Nursing, says her start in eldercare was serendipitous. 

Her husband suggested she apply for a job at a nursing home; she already had a nursing job, but the commute would be shorter. Thirty years have passed, and Rantz is now a leading researcher and expert in eldercare. She’s written multiple books, four of which won the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award. Most recently she received the honor for a book she co-wrote with Mary Zwygart-Stauffacher titled How to Find the Best Eldercare (Fairview Press, 2009).

“People who work in nursing homes would say they could spend five minutes in a facility and tell if it’s good,” Rantz says. So, she interviewed groups of eldercare employees and used their observations to create a questionnaire laypersons can use to evaluate a facility’s quality.

The questionnaires are a key feature of the book and have been translated for use all around the world. Once the level of needed care has been determined, questionnaires in the book help prospective consumers find a quality facility that is right for them.

The book is a follow-up to the 2001 book, The New Nursing Homes (Fairview Press, 2001), a guide to finding good long-term care. The recent book includes updated information on nursing homes and new information about assisted living facilities, in-home care and senior housing.

Rantz says it’s never too early to start thinking about long-term care. It can be uncomfortable, she says, but it’s something you have to talk about. “Don’t wait around. Be proactive.”