The Quintessential Gentleman’s Guide to Assisted Living
Hands All Over Me
I’m not new to aging, but I am new to this age. The age where my balance is mischievous, reaction times lazy, and my agility is sometimes asleep at the wheel. I love my life. I have lived life full, and will continue to do so for a long, long time. But I have limits now, a few more than a decade ago. I can overcome most of them, but now I just need a little help. That sounds simple, though it was a bit of a journey to admit with full authenticity.
You see, I’m a man of proud accomplishments. I’ve actually caught trout from a stream, seasoned steak the right way, tired out my grandkids and picked up a hitchhiker. A man living the extremes. Then, somewhere along the way, frequent trips, drops, buckles and spills began shaping this larger story. At first I thought it was me being clumsy, or slippery new material originally created for space exploration. The recurrence of blunders proved my reasoning flawed, and my pride slowly relented.
Like all those who conquer so many days, the accumulation of experience takes a toll on one’s body. Today, those trout are safe, steaks not so much, hitchhikers, do yourself right and take a cab or Uber, especially at night. My tires have seen just about every road shoulder this side of the Mississippi. Like I said, reaction times have slowed, traffic hasn’t. I’m not one to let some weeds stop me; I adapt.
I know what I want, the goal has always been the easy part to figure out: Remain independent, stay independent, be independent.
“How does this remain my reality?”
I Google searched my friends, scoured endless referral lists, and combed .gov sites that redirected to pages of nothing. It felt like hours had been wasted and all I had was the term Assisted Living added to my lexicon. So equipped with an industry term and horrific feeling, I turned to my trusted inner circle. My colleagues and self-anointed geniuses weren’t exactly in the know, but they had some great assumptions of Assisted Living.
Around the clock nursing
I imagine not sleeping due to the nurses heavy breathing, smacking gum, & glow from the screen attached to their eye sockets as they helped themselves to anything in my room.
- Something done in a hospital
- If it sounds medical, it’s medical
- The end of all things independent
- Cold hands, cold food, cold stares
- A closet, or something of similar size & lighting
- No golf, no wives, no sports
- One place, every day
I didn’t know if…
someone would wake me up at 5:00 am to check my pulse, then yell at me to hop in a cold shower. I’ve done that, I’m over it. Was it to be a crowd of people barking orders, throwing mismatched garments onto every availabe limb, hands all over me like a – fluffy little golden retriever puppy at a Pet Smart?