Home Sweet Home - The Thin Edge of Dignity

Posted on 04/30/20 by Dick Weinman

Home Sweet Home, Home On the Range, Home Is Where the Heart Is, even I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen – aphorisms and song titles celebrating -the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.

On the darker side, a home can be - an institution for people needing professional care or supervision. A Nursing Home.

I live in neither an Ordinary Home, nor an Institution. I live in a Facility, an Assisted Living Facility, acronymically known as an ALF. Most ALFs eschew their identity – after all, a Facility can be a Prison, at worst, or, at best, a place provided for a particular purpose.

That’s where I live – in such a place - but, more friendly-like, we call ourselves a Community, painting an image of unity, affection, friendship: old folks circumambulating the residence in pairs, table-mates chatting over meals, residents shutting out the sounds of TV commercials from the apartment next door, etc.Communal living is an embodiment of the African proverb, It takes a village. . . .

I was thrust from myhome into ahome, as followers of my blog know, after cruising into concrete truck, and destroying my car and disrupting my body. The fact that I couldn’t stand without assistance, or walk, or use my hands, made me eligible – not for Publishers Clearing House - but an Assisted Living House. (It’s really a Facility, an ALF, because that’s easy to roll-off-the-tongue: try rolling ALH.)

Propelled as I was, I found myself losing my independence, my singularity, my identity. But, it’s not too bad being a crayon in a box of Crayolas, a rain-drop in an ocean, a speck of sand of a beach.

Profound philosophical questions, but a more important question about the meaning of home is: where will Kathleen be taken?

Dick



Home Sweet Home, Home On the Range, Home Is Where the Heart Is, even I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen – aphorisms and song titles celebrating -the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.



On the darker side, a home can be - an institution for people needing professional care or supervision. A Nursing Home.



I live in neither an Ordinary Home, nor an Institution. I live in a Facility, an Assisted Living Facility, acronymically known as an ALF. Most ALFs eschew their identity – after all, a Facility can be a Prison, at worst, or, at best, a place provided for a particular purpose.



That’s where I live – in such a place - but, more friendly-like, we call ourselves a Community, painting an image of unity, affection, friendship: old folks circumambulating the residence in pairs, table-mates chatting over meals, residents shutting out the sounds of TV commercials from the apartment next door, etc.Communal living is an embodiment of the African proverb, It takes a village. . . .



I was thrust from myhome into ahome, as followers of my blog know, after cruising into concrete truck, and destroying my car and disrupting my body. The fact that I couldn’t stand without assistance, or walk, or use my hands, made me eligible – not for Publishers Clearing House - but an Assisted Living House. (It’s really a Facility, an ALF, because that’s easy to roll-off-the-tongue: try rolling ALH.)



Propelled as I was, I found myself losing my independence, my singularity, my identity. But, it’s not too bad being a crayon in a box of Crayolas, a rain-drop in an ocean, a speck of sand of a beach.



Profound philosophical questions, but a more important question about the meaning of home is: where will Kathleen be taken?

Dick Weinmann is an AARP volunteer and our Assisted Living (ALF) guru.

This story is provided by AARP Oregon. Visit the AARP Oregon page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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