“Don’t put me in ‘the home’!”
“I’m never going to ‘that place’!”
Perhaps you’ve heard your aging parent say something similar. Why make such a fuss, especially in light of the gorgeous assisted living communities sprinkled throughout the land? Private apartments, choices about food, activities and outings all make this type of living much more than “the home.”
Here’s a possible explanation for your parent’s reluctance to entertain the idea of assisted living. Assisted living communities are relatively new, first introduced in about 1990. The movement didn’t get into full swing until about 2000. Before that, there were few options: mostly nursing homes, which started in great numbers in the 1950s. Patterned after hospitals, they featured long, dark halls, med carts, bad smells, and people moaning and groaning.
Guess what? Your parent’s first memories of long term care were likely in a nursing home. He or she may remember visiting a parent in a setting that was less than first rate. It was scary!
Today, your parent can visit beautiful assisted living communities, to see friends or relatives and perhaps to toy with the idea of moving there”one day.”
Deep down inside, though, it’s probably still “the home.”
What can you do? Give your parent information, but most of all, empathize. And don’t, whatever you do, contradict them when they call it “the home.”