|Straits Times 14 July|
This article appeared in The Straits Times today. It is well worth a read. As ST allows online access only to subscribers, I am posting the link to the Washington Post which published the article on 10 July.
The article is written by Martin Bayne. Stricken by Parkinson's, he had to move into an assisted living home when he was 53. He writes about what it is like to spend his days among people so much older than he is, and to see them dying off one by one.
The article has received more than 500 comments. Do read some of them.
"People my age — I’m now 62 — might go to an assisted living facility every now and then to visit an older family member. But few people in my age group actually live in an assisted living facility. I do.
|Illustration from the Washington Post|
Eight years ago, in a wheelchair and after nearly a decade of living at home with young-onset Parkinson’s disease, I decided to move into an assisted living facility. I knew what my decision meant. I’d be moving into a place where the average resident was 32 years older than I was, and the average levels of disability, depression, dementia and death were dramatically higher than in the general population.
What I hadn’t calculated was what it’s like to watch a friend — someone you’ve eaten breakfast with every morning for several years — waste away and die. And just as you’re recovering from that friend’s death, another friend begins to waste away. I can say with certainty that the prospect of watching dozens (at my young age, perhaps hundreds) of my friends and neighbors in assisted living die is a sadness beyond words."
(To read the full article, click on the title below.)A man depicts the often grim atmosphere in assisted living facilities