Jews still fear bathing

Chicago Nursing Homes Grouping Residents

By DON BABWIN, Associated Press Writer

Tue Oct 12, 4:17 AM ET

CHICAGO — Mid America Convalescent Center is one of a growing number of Chicago-area nursing homes that assemble residents by ethnicity. Asians live on one floor, Hispanics are on another.

Each group has its own traditional food, activities and a staff that speaks its language. Within a few miles are other facilities doing the same for Poles, Russians, Indians and Koreans.

There have long been nursing homes that cater to certain nationalities and religions, or become popular with different ethnic groups. But in Chicago, with the third largest number of foreign-born residents in the United States, that sort of specialization is becoming increasingly common and formalized, said Kevin Kavanaugh, spokesman for the Illinois Council on Long Term Care.


Kavanaugh,[…] said nursing homes often already deal with a specific population with specific needs.

“They may be reverting back in time, perhaps speaking their native language, living in the past,” he said. “You want to have a program that meets them at their sense of reality.”

Specialized ethnic care can be helpful, advocates argue. Nursing homes must be aware, for example, of elderly Jewish residents for whom a trip to the shower may trigger memories of the Holocaust.


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