I tend to define home as where you live. A house is a house. And all of a sudden I feel like I'm doing a kindergarten primer.
Be that as it may, home can be the house, apartment, fifth wheel, motor home, etc. -- like I said wherever you live. We tend to separate these dwellings from "facilities". Sometimes it may be due to thinking of said facilities as a place you may have to go to, but the plan is to return home again.
There are, however, a lot of folks whose home is indeed in a facility. And sometimes, unless you already have the info, it looks more like...home. So let's talk about some alternatives to what we usually consider "home'.
Being alive carries with it some uncertainty (if you're older than a few months, you might have run into this already.) And said uncertainty may cause us to ponder where we are, what we need or what we want.
Assisted Living (AL) residences are one alternative. Reasons may vary for moving in, and since we're all individuals, each could be a unique set of circumstances. We tend to think of folks moving in because they need help, and that's certainly a primary reason, though if you happen to visit an AL, you might be surprised.
Individual apartments, reading rooms/libraries, gyms or exercise rooms are becoming the norm, and a lot of people living there are in and out, about town, doing what they as fellow-humans do. I've known some who want live in an AL primarily because they're tired of living alone, and becoming isolated to some degree.
Think about it: If family is out of the area or non-existent, and friends are elsewhere, it's easy to feel alone -- because you are. An AL has people there--and sometimes even friends.
There is always a safety net, however, in case of need, and this can be an answer to a "What if something happens..?" question. Security is a good thing. AL's provide laundry and meals in addition to the aforementioned safety net of help if you need it. Different levels of care are available so that in many instances if a condition worsens, a move might not be necessary.
Costs vary depending on the residence, and the level of assistance needed.
Keep in mind, though, that AL's are not skilled nursing facilities (SNF) where 24/7 nursing needs can be met.
In our county, there are three AL's, and each one is open to have you contact them and take a look around. (Just as each of us differ, so do each of them.) The three here are:
* Alder House: 801 Alder Street in South Bend (across from the hospital), 875-6001
* Long Beach Retirement & Assisted Living: 800 Washington Ave, Long Beach, 360-642-2464
* Golden Sands Assisted Living: 21608 O Lane, Ocean Park, 360-665-0190
Certainly, AL's are not the only alternative if you want to be somewhere where assistance is available. This week, however, they're enough to ponder.
Information & Assistance: Raymond: 942-2177/888-571-6557, www.o3a.org