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Podcast: Why would a 23-year-old graduate student choose to live in a nursing home?

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Michael Joyce is a multimedia producer at and tweets as @mlmjoyce

About 6 percent of older Americans live in nursing homes. However, nearly half of us over the age of 65 will spend some time in a nursing home at some point in our life.

News stories about nursing homes and the elderly most commonly address themes such as abuse and neglect, delivery of medical care, financial and reimbursement issues, and staffing challenges.

But for many who live in nursing homes — or have loved ones who live there — the most important issues have to do with quality of life. Things like: privacy, dignity, food, activities, autonomy, security, relationships and comfort.

These are things Tetyana Shippee knows about first hand … even though she is only in her thirties. And this is her story:


In the podcast you’ll hear Dr. Shippee, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, refer to these resources which are quite helpful in choosing a nursing home:

Medicare Nursing Home Report Cards

Minnesota Nursing Home Report Cards

Here are some links to the research that came from Dr. Shippee’s experience living in the nursing home:

With regard to journalists being embedded in nursing homes, there are some fascinating examples:

An article published last month by STAT about the value of young people living in retirement communities.

There’s a wealth of excellent reporting. These collections are great starting points:

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