Sunday May 19, 2013
Nursing Homes Not Conducive to Independent MindsetBarry Lee Coyne Salem-News.com
"Give me liberty...or give me death!" - Patrick Henry
(SALEM) - While I have no say-so on what other people decide to do in their Golden Age years, I've decided that the option of a nursing home environment is not suitable for my personal values. This subject came up in a discussion with my wife recently. We are both in our 70's and need to look carefully at our futures.
For nearly 40 years I have been an active gerontologist in five different states. I've handled operating a suburban senior center, counseling elderly clients, running inter-generational projects, doing home care with shut-ins, and teaching social work interns about the wants and needs of our older population. I have also worked within the confines of a nursing home in Washington, DC, and done volunteer work with facilities in Northern Virginia and Dallas, OR. That supplies me a fairly broad overview.
These are my personal reservations about those places I have observed.
If the day comes that I lose most of my faculties, perhaps I would have little choice but to rely on others to be my support system. Meanwhile, I cherish my independence and certainly will defend it against outside interference, in the words of Patrick Henry: "Give me liberty...or give me death!"
NOTE: Lee Coyne served three terms with the Arlington, VA. Commission on Aging and currently hosts the KMUZ weekly talk show called "Aging Without Raging". Email him at: email@example.com.
Barry Lee Coyne, a NYC native, blends three careers: Journalist, Counselor, Educator. His writings have appeared in newspapers and magazines on the East and West Coasts and the Southwest. He loves the art of the interview and has covered such persons as Dr. King's 1963 "Dream" speech and Sen. William Proxmire as an advocate for the environment. A global traveller to some 30 countries aboard, he speaks Spanish semi-fluently and very rudimentary Russian, Tagalog, German, Arabic and Hebrew.
Lee's legacy here in Salem includes launching the Salem Peace Mosaic at the YMCA and doing a radio talk show for KMUZ/88.5 FM. It airs Mondays and highlights lives of proactive, productive senior citizens. He invites you to contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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