Why the Care Center?

Years ago, when I first started writing, a teacher told me, “Write what you know.” To me, that advice seemed obvious. Why would you write about something you didn’t know?

Well, after writing for fifty some years, I can answer that question. I am curious about many things and it is interesting to research and find the answers. And, sometimes it is interesting to write about what you have recently learned.

However, when I wrote “Death is Always a Resident” and set the story in a care center, I did write what I knew–at least in a limited sense. My grandmother owned a “nursing home” and worked long hours taking care of the patients and making sure it was clean, well-maintained, the food was nutritious etc.

Later, my uncles got involved in the administration and the day-to-day tasks that were involved in the nursing home and I heard many stories as a child. When I was a teenager, I worked in the nursing home kitchen and then in the laundry to earn money for college. I knew some of the “residents” and talked to the care givers and nurses.

However, years later, when I decided to set my story in a “care center” in Ohio, I made appointments with administrators from several centers. I asked questions and observed how the industry had changed. I asked about current medical procedures and medication. I wanted to make sure what I wrote was accurate for the time period of the novel.

I have had several people ask why I chose a care center as a setting–and that’s why. I did write what I knew. 🙂

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About Lorraine Jeffery

Lorraine Jeffery earned her bachelor’s degree in English and her MLIS in library science, and managed public libraries in Texas, Ohio and Utah for over twenty years. She has won poetry prizes in state and national contests and has published over thirty poems in various publications, including Clockhouse, Kindred, Calliope, Ibbetson Street,and Rockhurst Review. She has published short stories in War Cry, The Standard and Segullah. Her articles have appeared in Focus on the Family, Mature Years, and Utah’s Senior Review, as well as other publications.. She is the mother of ten children (eight adopted) and currently lives with her husband in Orem, Utah.

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