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Letter to the Editor by Johnson to Overview: Health Care and the Aging Population: What are Today's Challenges?

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August 26, 2011

Response by Karen A. Johnson to Overview: Health Care and the Aging Population: What are Today's Challenges?, by Ella Kick, DNSc, RN, (May 31, 2003)

With Reply by Author

Dear Editor:

I am concerned about our institutionalized older adults. They cannot speak for themselves. We cannot forget about them. As a staff RN in a nursing home/rehabilitation center in Florida, I see far too often how nursing home owners are cutting staff to control operating costs.  Dr. Kick, in her May 2003 Overview of the OJIN articles initiating the topic of Health Care and the Aging Population: What are Today's Challenges?, noted that work still needs to be done to provide quality nursing care to our elderly. They often have no advocate to keep tabs on their emotional welfare. As professional nurses we must work to assure that institutions for the older adult provide enough staff for our older adults to receive quality care given with dignity. We cannot allow the owners of these institutions to decrease the number of staff inappropriately so as to decrease the cost of operating their facilities. We must hold these owners responsible for caring for these residents in an ethically responsible manner.

Karen A. Johnson, RN
Palm Harbor, Florida