One of the greatest challenges facing the residents of nursing homes is their dependence upon others to meet their needs. I often work with them on coming to terms with this unavoidable fact of life, and to find ways in which they can retain control over their situation. After numerous discussions about the frustrations of relying on busy staff or family members to purchase items for them, I began to consider the merits of an Independence Cart.
An Independence Cart is a roving store on wheels. Imagine if twice a week the residents could buy stationery, pens, stamps, phone cards, eyeglass repair kits, personal care items, or order a birthday present for a grandchild. It would give them some means of accessing the goods available in the outside world, and free up time that good-hearted staff and family members spend on burnout-inducing errands.