I visited my aunt and my cousin this past weekend. My aunt is 93 and my cousin is 70.
Both of them live in assisted living facilities.
My aunt’s place is lovely. She has a small kitchenette, a living room and a bedroom. All are tastefully decorated and plenty of her own things surround her. Her gentleman friend picks her up and they go to lunch and dinners together in the main dining room. She uses a walker now and there are definite signs of short term memory loss. I had not seen her since my uncle’s funeral seven years ago and I feel happy that I got to visit her before I have another family funeral to attend. We had a good visit and I even got to meet her gentleman friend who is 97.
My cousin is not faring quite as well. Her place is considerably less appealing, just the single room with bath. The furnishings are sparse and the look of everything is worn. I think it would be fair to characterize the place as a warehouse of the waning generations. Even so, she had to spend seven weeks in a hospital waiting for a room at a place that could accept her. My cousin was born completely deaf and now she suffers from peripheral neuropathy (started at age 50) and a diagnosis of mild dementia. She was so loved and protected by her parents. She has a fiercely independent spirit and lived and worked on her own for many years. Now that has all been taken away. She is no longer independent and she is very unhappy and it is heartbreaking. Just heartbreaking.