Friendship & Community

No one goes to a nursing home to make friends. The truth of this is pretty amazing. Many of our elders are now living the last years of their lives there, away from friends, and it is hard for those friends to visit them as they are old themselves and not necessarily able to easily get around. Some don’t drive or only drive in daytime and on local roads, restrictions that make their driving realistic and safe. A nearly 75 year ongoing study of What Makes Life Good tells us that the answer is Relationships, yet many are sacrificing them for housing.

Over 55 communities are booming and being built everywhere, but how many of these include Assisted Living and nursing homes facilities? How many assisted living places include nursing homes? I recently saw a client in a nursing home who had recently settled into an assisted living facility and was happy there. She was eager to get back to her friends. But she won’t be able to do that. She is now wheel chair and bed-bound, conditions unsupported in her current place of residence. Who will be her friends now?

Who goes to nursing homes to make friends? Really. Is that among your list of activities? Those of us who are lonely or wanting to meet companions go through clubs, meetups, but who goes to a nursing home? If a living healthy, long life depends on relationships, then what are we doing to ourselves? And our elders?