Some of my readers have a dim view of assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. Their opinions are based on the experiences of friends and relatives. They’re not keen on old age, either.
Dudley Clendinin, in his book A Place Called Canterbury: Tales of the New Old Age in America, presents a more nuanced view of both assisted living and old age. The book is based on his experiences at Canterbury Tower, a “life care” community here in Tampa Bay. His mother moved to Canterbury after the death of her husband, and lived there for 13 years. She needed nursing care for almost ten of those years. Through that decade, Clendinin stayed at Canterbury on and off, first in his mother’s apartment, then renting a guest room, and finally staying in one of the resident’s spare bedrooms (she was glad for the company). He was in his 50s; the average age at Canterbury was 86.