A recent article in the Deseret News extolled the "virtues" of big nursing homes run by large management companies. Yet, it has been shown that residents greatly benefit from living in smaller nursing homes where everyone is known on a first-name basis.

Many large facilities bill Medicare for basic care that could be provided in smaller nursing homes at less cost to the resident and the health-care system.What elderly people require once rehabilitation needs have been met is love, understanding, good hands-on care, good home-style food and a homelike atmosphere to make their lives safe and enjoyable.

In the small home, a family or resident can go right to the top for help resolving a problem, but you cannot even find the top when a large management company is in charge.

Large corporations cost money to run and families are paying for the management costs of such companies. Smaller nursing homes that are owner-managed are less expensive to operate. Bigger is not always better - it is just more expensive.

Like the corner grocery store that was replaced by the supermarket, the service station that was replaced by self-serve gas stations and the banks that have virtually been replaced by automatic tellers, with no one to assist the client, so it appears the smaller nursing homes may be replaced. This is what management by the numbers promotes.

Anna Hunt

Salt Lake City