Monthly Archives: January 2013

29 01, 2013

ELDER HOSTILE

January 29th, 2013|Uncategorized|2 Comments

You! That's right, you, the author of a new book on elder care, or "long-term care expert," or Assisted Living CEO... It's shower time! What I'm about to say may not seem important to you, but I CAN ASSURE YOU it's damn important to me, and millions like me. (But don't worry, your time is coming.) Next [...]

25 01, 2013

DEATH SPIRAL

January 25th, 2013|Uncategorized|6 Comments

    When the plane had climbed to 13,500 feet, I checked the wind one final time and nodded to the pilot. Then, with the usual mixture of terror and exhilaration, I slowly pushed off the wing mount and into the stuff of dreams. Within ten seconds my body had reached terminal velocity, the speed at which air resistance equals the force of gravity. I was in free fall. Unfortunately, human language skills – only 160,000 years old – are inadequate to describe my experience during the next minute, but sufficient to say that I now understand why sky divers routinely risk their lives for those precious sixty seconds. I broke the free fall 3,800 feet above the target or “jump run” by deploying my pilot chute, which in turn caused my main canopy to unfold and grab a piece of the early morning sky. As my feet touched solid ground, I pondered the realization that I was now irrevocably stuck between earth and the heavens. For a moment, let’s imagine another scenario. One in which something goes wrong. Terribly wrong. Same skydiver, same free fall. But this time, when he reaches for his pilot chute to deploy the main canopy, he discovers to his horror that there is no chute assembly. No pilot chute, no primary chute and no reserve. There is only panic. And waiting. In his last moments of consciousness, hurtling toward a Mobil Mart at 160 miles/hour, he glances skyward. Planes as far as the eye can see. Jumpers leaping through twin-prop bay doors fill the air like locusts; their numbers so great they virtually block out the sun. He wonders how his obituary will read, as the sky rains a steady downpour of terror and flailing limbs. And not a parachute among them. The American long-term health care system is caught in an uncontrolled free fall – plunging to earth in a death spiral. And each day, thousands of individuals – rich and poor, black and white – stand on line at 15,000 feet, sipping a glass of Chardonnay or reading a book, only to find themselves moments later plunging towards earth and their inevitable destiny. And it is all so unnecessary. There are times, however, when skydiving metaphors let us off the hook. They take us miles from the ugly, nauseating, wretched, truth of what we really do to our chronically ill and our frail elders – and, thus, to each other and ourselves. So I will help us remember. Not from some misguided sense of benevolence, but of necessity. I, too, am one of the walking wounded; a 62 year-old resident of an assisted living facility, […]

14 01, 2013

A Soulful, Heart-Based Reinvention of Assisted Living

January 14th, 2013|Uncategorized|3 Comments

By Martin Bayne Imagine you are 70, your spouse has just died and your children have decided it's no longer safe or prudent for you to live alone. It's your worst nightmare—complete with memories of the insecurities and trepidation felt in the first days of school, but this time it's an assisted living facility, and, [...]

12 01, 2013

PLAYING WHO-BLINKS-FIRST WITH DEATH

January 12th, 2013|Uncategorized|2 Comments

  Eight days ago, I was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. An Emergency Room physician told me I nearly bought the farm. But it was not to be. Not this time. Not this farmer. Let me tell you  a little something about dying  and The Farm. First and foremost - DYING IS COMPLETELY SAFE! And The [...]