Question: Dear Luise: Some time ago I read your response to the following situation: A son was trying to keep his aging mother from leaving their home and going into a senior retirement center. I felt your response was so timely, when you said that he should honor her request. If you still have that information available would you please send it to me? Thank you, Sincerely C.
Answer: Dear C.: I don’t remember that post, but I am glad to give you some information about where I live. My husband and I moved into a Continuous Care Senior Community ten years ago. We didn’t need to, we just thought it would be wise to make the move when it wasn’t necessary. For years we enjoyed volunteering here and establishing an extended family.
For many seniors, especially those alone, residing with an adult child leaves a lot to be desired. No matter what the mutual intent, there is usually considerable isolation involved. And to some degree, a sense of uselessness can surface. In a community like mine, there are all kinds of programs and activities and many opportunities to volunteer because it is a non-profit. (For profits have to severely limit volunteering because of the possibility of exploitation.) Every year, we log about 38,000 hours volunteering on campus…replacing 18 full-time employees, thus generating a strong and well-earned sense of being useful. Statistics now indicate this promotes longevity. Who wants to sit around being entertained while waiting to die?
My husband, who will be 99 years old in October, is now in our campus nursing facility. Residents are in and out of his room daily because he was so well liked and because that’s just the way it is here. I still live in independent housing and am able to spend 3 – 4 hours a day with him since he is so close…(about 1/2 a block.)
To read more about it, go to: www.warmbeach.org. Yes, that’s a picture of me on the home page. 🙂
People who move to a retirement community or an independent living and assisted care facility that does not offer “Continuous Care” have to move to a nursing home where they are strangers at a time when they need the most support. That can be catastrophic.
Let me know if I can be of further assistance. Blessings, Luise