No Country for Old People: A Call to Reform Our Nursing Homes


June 11, 2024

In a world where aging is an inevitable part of life, the documentary “No Country For Old People” by Susie Singer Carter sheds a harsh light on the realities of nursing homes and the often grim conditions faced by the elderly. This powerful documentary, in partnership with the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, delves into the systemic issues plaguing nursing homes and urges an urgent overhaul of the healthcare system’s approach to elder care.

The Harsh Reality of Short Staffing

One of the most pressing issues highlighted in “No Country For Old People” is the chronic problem of short staffing in nursing homes. This issue has far-reaching consequences, impacting not only the quality of care but also the well-being and dignity of the elderly residents. Short staffing often leads to overworked and stressed caregivers who, despite their best intentions, are unable to provide the attentive and personalized care that each resident deserves. The documentary presents heart-wrenching accounts of residents waiting hours for basic needs to be met, such as assistance with eating, bathing, and using the restroom.

High Employee Turnover Rates

Coupled with short staffing is the problem of high employee turnover rates. The demanding and often underappreciated nature of caregiving roles leads to burnout and a revolving door of staff members. High turnover disrupts the continuity of care, making it difficult for residents to form meaningful relationships with caregivers. This lack of stability can be particularly detrimental for elderly individuals, especially those with dementia or cognitive disabilities, who thrive on routine and familiarity. The documentary emphasizes the need for better support, training, and incentives for caregivers to reduce turnover and improve the overall standard of care.

The Plight of the Elderly with Dementia and Cognitive Disabilities

The documentary also brings to the forefront the unique challenges faced by elderly individuals with dementia and cognitive disabilities. These residents often require specialized care and a deeper understanding of their condition. Unfortunately, the current system is ill-equipped to address these needs adequately. Susie Singer Carter, an award-winning writer, director, producer, playwright, actress, and dedicated caregiver advocate, uses her platform to advocate for a more compassionate and informed approach to dementia care. The documentary calls for comprehensive training programs for caregivers and the implementation of care models that prioritize the dignity and quality of life for these vulnerable individuals.

The Urgent Need for Systemic Change

No Country For Old People” is not just a documentary; it is a clarion call for change. The healthcare system’s current approach to treating the elderly, particularly those in nursing homes, is in dire need of reform. The documentary underscores the importance of viewing elder care through a lens of empathy, respect, and humanity. It advocates for increased funding, better staffing ratios, improved working conditions for caregivers, and a shift towards person-centered care models that honor the individuality and dignity of each resident.

Partnering for a Better Future

The partnership between Susie Singer Carter and the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care is a beacon of hope in the fight for better elder care. Together, they are amplifying the voices of the elderly and their families, shining a light on the systemic issues, and advocating for policies that ensure the elderly receive the care and respect they deserve. The documentary serves as a powerful reminder that aging should not equate to a loss of dignity, and that we must all work together to create a society where the elderly are valued and cared for with the utmost compassion.


“No Country For Old People” is a sobering yet essential documentary that compels us to rethink how we treat our elderly. It is a call to action for all stakeholders – policymakers, healthcare providers, caregivers, and society at large – to come together and address the systemic issues in our nursing homes. By prioritizing the well-being and dignity of the elderly, especially those with dementia and cognitive disabilities, we can create a future where aging is embraced with the respect and care it deserves.


We hope this information is helpful to you in the important work you do as a family caregiver.
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