Nursing Home Rebels

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Assert yourself at any age

One of our client’s mother moved recently from independent living to an assisted living facility in the Sacramento Valley in California.  She had previously lived in an apartment independently, and she had been responsible for her own meals and taking her own medications.  As she aged, however, she decided that she could benefit from more assistance.  So she moved.

Of course she was concerned about giving up her autonomy or control over subtle aspects of her life.  But she found that having more help, such as with her medications, meant that she was feeling better and was not having spells that might have been caused by her mixing things up every now and then.  Now, rather than eating alone, she eats all of her meals with the other residents in the dining room.

However, she is not satisfied with the dining room.  The facility uses plastic table cloths and does not use separate plates for the salads.  So, she, and 16 other residents made up a petition and signed it and turned it into the manager of the facility demanding that their concerns be addressed.  The manager wisely agreed to meet with the disgruntled residents, and it appears that the plastic will be replaced with real table cloths with butcher paper on the top, as in restaurants.  At press time, it was not yet resolved whether there would be a salad bar with separate plates.

Moving to assisted living does not mean that a resident loses his or her voice in the affairs of daily life.  At any age.  Our client’s mother will be 101 in September.