Senior housing. The term has always sent chills up my spine. I imagined senior housing to be like the place where my aunt spent the last few years of her life. It was dark, depressing, regimented, and full of unhappy people. After visiting a place like that several times, I vowed to do everything within my power to keep my loved ones in their own homes.
The place where my aunt lived was a skilled nursing facility, not senior housing. I thought they were based on the same concept. I’ve never really had cause to research the difference until recently.
I have a family member who has decided she wants to move into senior housing. The moment she uttered those words, my blood ran cold. I asked her if she was sure. I told her there was no hurry. I told her to think long and hard about it before committing to a change so drastic. I didn’t want her making any rash decisions.
Another relative arranged for us to tour the apartment building in which she was interested. I approached with trepidation, but tried to keep my mind open. What I saw within those tall walls astounded me. This place was nothing like the one where my aunt had lived her last years. The people in this place were actually happy.
The building was a huge three-story giant, but still managed to look inviting. I was greeted by a friendly receptionist who introduced herself and shook my hand before offering all of us a soft drink. Then she escorted us into their welcome room where we were joined by a manager. He also introduced himself and shook hands with everyone.
I was fairly impressed by the amenities. When he showed us the apartments is when my mind began to change, though. We looked at their demo apartment and two vacant ones. They all had decent sized bedrooms and bathrooms. The living rooms and kitchens were small but not cramped. The more we saw, the brigheter my relative’s eyes became. When he told her that she could watch the St. Louis Cardinals baseball games in the movie theater, she was ready sign up.
Even though this place changed my mind about senior housing, I still wanted her to mull things over in her mind. Instead, while standing in a third flood vacant apartment, she asked, “Is this one available today?”
My sweet family member is truly ready to change her life. It’s a bold move, but she assure me she’s looking forward to it. She’s anxious to meet some other Cardinals fans and enjoy some games with them. She told me she may even check out the pool. She’s especially excited about the hair salon being right down the hall from her new apartment.
I’m anxious to visit her once she’s been settled in for a while and hear all about her new life. For now, there are many decisions to be made and things to be packed. The next couple of weeks are going to be busy, but her happiness is worth it.
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