As I wrote when I discussed my Grandma Schneider in my post of January 10, 2014, (Wow! It took a long time to circle back around to my family’s experiences with nursing homes,) most people seem revolted at the thought of moving into a nursing home or putting a loved one into a nursing home. I’ve heard many people speak of seniors abandoned in nursing homes living, seemingly forgotten and alone. My family’s experience with nursing homes is just the opposite.
Aunt Gert was my Grandma’s sister-in-law. She had married my mom’s mom’s older brother. (I hope you could follow that explanation.) I guess she was my Great Aunt, if I understand family “titles” correctly.
Aunt Gert lived about an hour from us. She was widowed in her late 50s or early 60s, losing her husband to cancer. Her kids were adults with their own families. She stayed in the house, spending time with her kids, her grandkids, and her friends.
A few years later, one of Aunt Gert’s friends needed to move into a nursing home for rehab and was really scared. Aunt Gert volunteered to move in with her. To my knowledge, Aunt Gert didn’t have any need for care or supervision. She went just to be with her friend.
As often happens, the friend’s rehab turned into a permanent stay. Aunt Gert stayed with her. Aunt Gert stayed until her friend passed away. Then, Aunt Gert moved back home.
After a few months at home, Aunt Gert moved back into the nursing home BY CHOICE. She had made friends there. She had activities there. She had really enjoyed her first stay and decided she preferred the nursing home to her own house.
Aunt Gert stayed in the nursing home until see too passed away. She sure didn’t feel abandoned, forgotten, or alone.
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