The only thing worse than watching a young, vital human being forced to live their life in a Skilled Nursing Facility, is when that young, vital human being is you.
Yesterday, due to circumstances beyond my control, I became that human being.
My name is Martin Bayne, and for the last fourteen years I’ve been a resident of assisted living facilities in New York and Pennsylvania.
But I’m much more than a man who’s shared the last two decades of his life with “the shaking palsy” that Dr. James Parkinson first described in the early 1900s: I’ve been a successful journalist, author, Zen Buddhist and Catholic Benedictine monk, MIT scholar, and corporate CEO.
And when I moved to my current residence, Sacred Heart Personal Care Home in Center Valley, PA, I though it would be my last move. Finally, I had a home and nothing else mattered.
I didn’t care that I had been beaten unconscious while taking a shower by three aides at Ellis Hospital, in Schenectady, NY, and that the assualt was responsible for two pulmonary embolisms.
I didn’t even care about the eight Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) treatments I received at the Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia after I moved into my current home.
After all, I reasoned, I finally had a home.
But, yesterday, one day before my release from a short-term rehab stay at the Good Shepherd Rehab Hospital in Allentown, PA, I was stripped of that home with a single phone call.
And now, with my 66th birthday at hand next month, I am, once again, homeless.
– – – Continued Here
Editor’s Note: This is not the first time ChangingAging has published Martin Bayne’s first hand reports as he struggles to maintain his autonomy and find a home within the long term care system. I interviewed Martin January 13 via phone at the Good Shepherd Rehab Hospital. Martin received notification January 12 that he was being evicted from Sacred Heart Personal Care Home on the basis of his health needs being too great to care for in assisted living. Martin is being discharged from Good Shepherd tomorrow, January 14 and currently has no home or family members in the state. Good Shepherd’s case manager is attempting to place him in a skilled nursing home, where it is unlikely he will receive a private room and unclear what will happen to his possessions.