housenothomewithoutacat (1)

Last week I asked subscribers to add their opinions about what, in the context of Assisted Living, makes a place feel like home. The basics, according to these readers, include:

Pets and doors that lock and books and good coffee inside and good friends outside. (Heidi Hadsell)

My mother-in-law is in an assisted living place…a lot like Jessie’s imaginary place! I would gladly go to this place in my senior years! (Jane Maher-Dudgeon)

Absolutely my pets! Lots of windows overlooking deciduous trees and walking paths. Privacy when I wanted and not to be questioned if I didn’t. Have conversations that are silly and also serious about what I believe and am I scared of dying (must haves). And if I can’t have this, then I hope someone has developed incredible holograms that will let me feel as if I do have all this! (Linda Beck-Kuban)

In his new book, Being Mortal, Dr. Atul Gawande describes the kinds of assistance available to people who can no longer live independently. In a chapter called “Hard Conversations,” Gawande recounts a grass-roots effort in his home town of Athens, Ohio, a place with few big-city resources, to create support for aging and/or disabled people who wanted to stay in their homes. Margaret Cohn, a retired biologist who needed help caring for her seriously ill husband, got a group of friends together, then enlisted 100 people to pay four hundred dollars per year for essential services. The Athens Village (named after Beacon Hill Village, a predecessor program in Boston) eventually provided discounted nursing assistance, a full-time handyman/maintenance man, volunteers to check up on people who needed food or help, daily van service and Meals-on-Wheels. Everyone was able to stay at home, with the help they needed, at an affordable price. They found a way to turn Home into Assisted Living Home.



About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.