3 out of 4 stars
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In Polka-Dot Bath, Author Marklyn Beck gives innumerable reasons why the long-term care industry needs an overhaul. The “reasons,” in this case, are in the form of real-life scenarios that the aged or the disabled have had to endure in the so-called nursing homes. So, it’s a must-read for those interested in planning for their future and for that of their loved ones. As one who dispensed with this advice, Beck wrote about Dr. Seymore, a middle-aged doctor who suffered from a massive stroke. In a moment of contemplation, Dr. Seymore angrily declared how in his thirty years of practice, he’d never admitted any of his patients to a care home like the one he’d found himself in.
Sadly, the ole doctor found himself at the receiving end of a system he interacted with regularly, but one in which, unfortunately, he didn’t take the time to care much about how it operated. In contrast, Beck was called naïve when she thought she could change the system. However, with twenty-eight years’ worth of care home nursing experience under her belt, she wisely responded that she felt she’d made a difference to all those who’ve been and continue to be under her care. Her 376-page nonfiction book is full of those relatable stories, all arranged under catchy titles. Furthermore, Beck, even if she wanted, couldn’t resist sharing her raw emotions with the reader in this collection.
Other than the tone in the author’s voice, what I liked most about this book was the diversity of the characters depicted. Drawn from equally diverse professions, it was heart-wrenching reading about the life and death decisions that had to be made over the lives of once successful characters. Moreover, because of their human nature, they expressed a lot of conflicting emotions, as they came face to face with the mundane realities of their not-so-caring care homes. Not all the experiences depicted were bad, though. Take the case of the wheelchair-bound Gilmer, for example: he was an octogenarian, and often he found himself the fancy of many a ladies’ hearts. Once, Beck had to write an incident report because a certain elderly prom queen was found in Gilmer’s room and which was contrary to his family’s wishes.
On the other side of the coin, what I disliked about the book was the many editing errors I came across. One prevalent error related to the use of the word “aid,” as opposed to the correct word “aide.” In two instances, I also found it confusing that the author used the title “director of nurses” to describe some characters’ titles, as opposed to the more common title “director of nursing.” Additionally, I uncovered the use of other wrong words and verb tense errors in sentences. For this weakness, therefore, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars.
Lastly, Beck has written a doozy title with a lot of true stories about human nature. I recommend it to all those who believe change starts with the individual. Importantly, the book will suit all those who want to plan for their sunset years now, or they simply just want to understand the system better. Conversely, it may be less suited to those averse to strong language or content featuring death or nudity.
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