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13 things I plan to do when it's my turn to live in a nursing home

July 20, 2010
by ebarbera
| Reprints

1. Give 'em hell

2. Knit

3. Hang out on the patio from spring through fall

4. Attend every off-campus trip available

5. Read

6. Write

7. Join, or start, the International Association of Nursing Home Residents

8. Sit in the lobby and watch the people come and go, while knitting

9. Attend the Classic Rock and R&B performances in therapeutic recreation

10. Take a survey course in world religion by attending services of every denomination

11. Watch all the movies I've missed

12. Eat chocolate every day, just like I do now

13. Teach people about nursing homes from the resident perspective

What will you do?

Dr. Barbera is an author and a licensed psychologist consulting in long-term care facilities in the New York City area. She frequently lectures on subjects related to psychology, aging, and nursing homes. Dr. Barbera is available for private consulting with organizations, institutions, and individuals around eldercare issues. Visit her personal blog at www.mybetternursinghome.blogspot.com.

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Comments

Dr. El,

I discussed your blog and Robin's comment, " I won't be living in a nursing home. I will be living at home with homecare services in place," with some of my residents.

I asked how many of them had planned to be a nursing home, would you believe not one of them had expected to be in one? We then talked about things they liked (and like) to do and how to make the best of being in long term care. It was evident by our discussion that a light bulb went off in so many heads.

Thank you for the article and the inspiration, I believe you made a difference in several people's lives.

I won't be living in a nursing home. I will be living at home with homecare services in place.

If that's your preference, Robin, I hope it works out for you. A lot of nursing home residents were hoping for that too, or were able to manage it for a while before placement.

Great list, Sue! I'll meet you on the patio for Scrabble, needle crafts, and chocolate. Do they have Wii scuba diving?

Dr. El,
- Give 'em hell.
- Hang out on the patio when the temperature is above 70 degrees.
- Play Scrabble with my peers in the facility and my friends online.
- Take advantage of the facility's arts & crafts program.
- Work on perfecting my bowling score playing the Wii.
- Play Wii tennis everyday!
- Photography
- Attend all ice cream socials - order all the toppings available with extra whipped cream.
- Become a member of your International Association of Nursing Home Residents organization.
- Spend time each day encouraging residents reluctant to get involved in recreation programs, to engage in the daily activities of the facility. I will exhaust the recreation staff with recruiting so many participants.
- Read (and reread the books of Dr. El)
- Do needlepoint.
- Eat chocolate everyday, share it with a friend...
- Play cards.
- Attend all ice cream socials - order all the toppings available with extra whipped cream...oh did I say that already?

Should I go on?

If I have to live in a nursing home, I will take every advantage of what it has to offer.

ebarbera

Dr. Barbera is an author and a licensed...