Assisted-Existence

I was struck by the quality of the day. The weather was beautiful: partly cloudy, temperatures in the mid-to-high 60s with winds out of the NW at 5-8 mph. The spring flowers were in bloom and the grass still had that crisp green color that would be gone in a few weeks as drier weather and warmer temperatures invade later in the summer. It was one of those days that motivates everyone to “go out and do something”.

As I turned around the corner to enter the front of the building, I was struck by something altogether different. They could have numbered no less than fifteen: lined up against the wall (moved out-of-the-way of those passing on the sidewalk) were seniors, sitting in silence in their wheelchairs and rollators. Only one had the courage to make eye contact, and only half were awake, staring blankly into the courtyard. The other half were leaning forward, to one side or the other, sleeping with their mouths agape. It was saddening.

When I entered the lobby, my sadness turned to dismay when I entered the palatial entry only to find another 20-30 residents “parked” against the walls. Still, half of them were sleeping, slouched in their seats as if death itself had just rendered its cruel fate while even those who were awake seemed as if they were dying silently inside.

They call it an “assisted-living facility”, but I saw very little “living” there.

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