Some innovations in nursing home care are reported by Constance Gustke on the “Persona; Business” page of the New York Times Saturday, p. B5, “Putting the ‘Home’ Back in Nursing Homes”, or (online) “Small residences for the elderly provide more personal, homelike care”, link here. The article describes residences for no more than ten people, and as the practice of adopting private homes as “group homes” for the elderly needing some combination of assisted living and nursing care. But the care may be more expensive ($1100 a month in a Michigan facility, which sounds like more than a conventional nursing home would be, close to round-the-clock care with aides). The option may help keep the extremely frail "home".
Update: December 2
Vox has a piece by Valery Hazanov, Dec. 2, "What working in a nursing home taught me about life, death and America's cultural values", link here. Valery says that childless people have a particularly tough time in nursing homes. When someone is in pain, then the pain is a preoccupation, unless the person has interest in things outside the self, maybe preferably family members and people, but an interest in art, culture, literature, music, chess, and the like certainly helps.