Friday, April 24, 2009

Learning About Elders

I just attended a meeting of my fellow residents to announce staffing changes and other matters at The Clare. The meeting turneed into a complaint session. I kept my mouth shut, but I had plenty of time to assess my fellow elders. Here are a few conclusions:

1. This group is, in general, articulate and well educated, as well a affluent. (I'm probably one of the least affluent residents).

2. Seniors love to talk--loudly. Loud talk is good for those of us, including me, with hearing loss. But many tend to repeat themselves too often.

3. As with people of all ages all over, there are few agreements on anything among this group, despite the age similarities.

4. Moving into this building has marked a major turning point for everyone, and most of us are a bit uneasy about how everything will turn out. Will the assisted living and nursing facilities ever open? If so, and if we need such help, will it be available for everyone (the independent living apartments far outnumber the assisted living units).

5. Everyone feels that communication is lacking here. I feel that it's not been bad, considering the newness of the place.

6. There are too many pessimists here; I prefer to look on the brighter side. Some seem to believe that the emphasis will shift too far toward assisted living and nursing care.

7. Specific complaints: lack of shower grab bars (I have them) and long waits for food at dinner (I seldom eat dinner here). These seem to be valid complaints, but there were few of them. Most of what I heard seemed to be theories that the sky was falling in some way.

8. Dealing with a group of independent old people who are accustomed to the best must be very difficult. Personally, I enjoy living here.

9. I'm trying to establish a residents' newsletter. I think that should be a wonderful way to let people express their opinions. I hope they are willing to put them in writing.

10. My advice is to give the new management a chance.

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