Saturday, January 07, 2012

At 82- my mom is having fun!

There is a huge phobia in our society about "nursing homes". I am here to say that the entire model of nursing home of the last 50 years- a place to stuff and forget parents/ elderly- is slowly being eclipsed by elder care independent care facilities. Well off seniors are flooding to these types of places. Surprisingly, there are almost as many men as women. They are small towns with community stores, easy access to transportation (private cars for hire), and brain activities (large print libraries, revolving art collections, group trips to the theater/ theater in, movies, social gatherings in open areas,card tournaments and computer workshops). If one deems it necessary to go from family for elder years, this is the place most people would choose. My mother did not turn into a five year old who likes bingo because she turned 80!

My mother has spent the last eight years grieving. First three was taken up by my father dieing. Te next five being stuck in place, afraid to leave her house for fear of losing her independence- and her life.
She moved to a Baptist home, like the one described above, six months ago. My parents worked very hard for their money. I am glad to see she is finally enjoying her elder years.

Yesterday I was teasing my mom that she now lives in an apartment- much like we did when we went to college. She eats in the dining room every late afternoon. She chats with the ladies in the atruim in the late mornings. Her computer classes begin again in a month. She knows what is going on in everyone's lives. Exercise, chat, eat, listen and now she is considering taking the paper again. I imagine political discussions are in our near future.

Just five months ago I thought we were going to lose mom. Not from physical ailments, but boredom. Things have changed. At 82 my mom is having fun! Now when mom passes, for that is inevitable, I know that her final years she was happy.


ancient one said...

So glad your mom could find a place like that and be able to afford it. My cousin swims with people who live like that and they all love it. My cousin got invited to one of their homes and she really loved the place, but she said to me.. "You and I will never be able to afford it"...

Janette said...

The place she lives is about twice her social security (or should I say dad's). The rest comes out of savings. They were business owners- butnever in the top 10% of income. They raised and educated five kids in Catholic schools
If she were younger, there might have been a question as to how fast she will use her savings. I feel confident it will not become a problem. She lives in about900 sq feet, but the layout is perfect. Because of the volumn of clients and the staff the center has chosen to hire a real chef and zero scape thelandscaping. They do not have a indoor pool, but a discount membership to the Y.
There are ways of getting around the warehousing of the elderly,. Phoenix is really doing a good job looking into it. I think we need to start pushing the issue now! Just like everything else- boomers do not like junk and they refuse to pay for it if there is an alternative.

Linda Myers said...

I am hearing about changes in homes for the elderly. I hope the practice continues and expands.