The second half of my working life stretches out in front of me and I no longer feel the need to censor my words and my deeds. I am a nursing home abolitionist and, going forward, I intend to act like one.
After twelve years living with Parkinson’s in an Assisted Living facility, I’d like to report that going toe-to-toe with death has become just another fact of life. But it hasn’t. In fact, the older I get (now 64), the more I dig in with all the tenacity I can muster to stave off what I know is natural and inevitable.
It’s 11:00 PM and I write these words on my iPad while sitting in my bed at the Phoebe Ministries nursing home/rehab complex in Allentown, Penn.
Martin Bayne transfered successfully to his new nursing home. The good news is he got a private room (probably the only one in the building). Otherwise, he reports the food is terrible and the atmosphere is worse.
Martin Bayne called me from the hospital today asking if ChangingAging would help him chronicle his journey of recovery as he transitions to a nursing home to regain adequate health and mobility to return to his home at Sacred Heart Assisted Living.
The past several years have led me farther and farther away from the pulse of activity relating to culture change in LTC. Although there is a part of me that misses being deeply involved, watching from the sidelines has given me a unique perspective on what is happening in the movement.
Here’s an idea for every residential aging facility that struggles with ambient despair that masks itself as “activity indifference” (the resident spends her entire day in her room or a chair in the main lobby avoiding activities and other residents).
A generous reading of the “Baby Boom’s” most important contribution to contemporary society is its enduring endorsement of the power of choice to create a better future.