1. Harris, Marilyn D. MSN, RN, BC, CNAA, FAAN

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Thirteen years ago I sought an assisted living facility for my older, widowed sister who had benign tremors and dementia. I was fortunate to find one founded and owned by an RN. In addition to a wonderful staff who provided the personal care and meals my sister needed, the facility offered many activities, including animal visits, onsite manicures given by cosmetology students, and holiday and monthly birthday parties for residents and their guests. The owner's two daughters-one a nurse and the other a licensed nursing home administrator-carried on their mother's traditions after her death.


My sister was ultimately transferred to the facility's skilled nursing home after a hospital visit. She lived her last four months there and received the same good care to which she'd become accustomed. Aromatherapy was offered by pinning a scented cotton ball to her blouse or sweater, and the activities director taped pictures of my sister's favorite dogs to the ceiling above her bed, so she could always look at them, especially on days when she couldn't get up. In January 2002 my sister died in her sleep.


The day before the August 2003 issue of AJN arrived, I stopped by the assisted living facility on my way to an appointment. I said hello to the competent and caring professionals who had, after 13 years, become a part of my extended family.


Marilyn D. Harris, MSN, RN, BC, CNAA, FAAN