Reader Poll: What's something you wish people outside of the industry knew about long-term care?

“I think the thing I would like folks to know is there's always a battle to get rid of the stereotypes. The people I work with are very intent on putting their heart and care into what they do. People need to come and see that.”

— Dave Boozer, Administrator, The Health Center at Standifer Place, Chattanooga, TN

“That it takes a very compassionate person to do the job. Even though it's a hard job, it does have its perks. Just being able to be with the residents, and seeing their smiles. When you go home at the end of the night, you feel good about what you did that day.”

— Alicia Goatley, CNA, Riverside Lodge Retirement Community, Grand Island, NE

“I wish people knew to advocate for more reimbursement for long-term care services.”

— Catherine Congo, MPA/HA, LHNA, Administrator, Signature Healthcare, Brockton, MA 

“That people come to the facilities to live, not to die. If you can change that perception, then hallelujah!”

— Matthew Tucker, Executive Director, Lincoln Nursing & Rehab, Hamlin, WV

“That it takes a lot of effort. If you take care of 25 patients in one shift, it takes a lot of guts. And there's not a lot of money in nursing. For me it's a profession and a vocation.”

— Cherry Bautista, LVN, Burlingame Long Term Care, Burlingame, CA 

“Most would think that long-term care residents need the staff to survive. The truth is, the staff need the residents to survive. Their love and smiles keep us going every day. There have been so many days when I was worried or upset and I came into work and saw a resident waiting to give me a hug. They are my heartbeat.” 

—Kara Ball,  Admissions and Marketing Director, Cambridge Place, Lexington, KY 

“The nursing home industry has changed, and most of the facilities have a small-town feel now. It's like a little tiny community.”

— Phillip Donnelly, Executive Director, Braxton Health Care Center, Sutton, WV

“I'd tell them that working in long-term care really prepares you to know how you could possibly be treated at that age.”

— Elaine Anderson, Owner and Administrator, Serenity Assisted Living Inc., Dilworth, MN

“They need to know it's not for everyone, it's a calling. It's very demanding, and it calls for a lot of compassion. It's not about the money — you're there to care.”

— Kristine Peralta, RN, Burlingame Long Term Care, Burlingame, CA