“Long-term care hospitals tend to the sickest of patients, often near the end of their lives. Many will never return home.”
“Credit: Monica Jorge for The New York Times)
by Paula Span
“The Hospital for Special Care in New Britain, Conn., had 10 patients in its close observation unit on a recent afternoon. Visitors could hear the steady ping of pulse monitors and the hum of ventilators.
“The hospital carefully designed these curtained cubicles to include windows, so that patients can distinguish day from night. It also placed soothing artwork — ocean scenes and landscapes — on the ceilings for those who can’t turn over and look outside.
“All these patients had undergone a tracheostomy — a surgical opening in the windpipe to accommodate a breathing tube attached to a ventilator — when they arrived from a standard acute-care hospital. Some had since been weaned from the ventilators, at least for part of the day.”