Ronna L. Edelstein
For years, and especially as he entered his nineties, my father kept begging me not to “dump” him into a nursing home. He had seen too many of his cronies abandoned in this way by family members; his visits with these friends left him feeling depressed and hopeless for days. I assured Dad that I’d never put him in a facility.
It was an easy promise to make. I didn’t want him in a One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest setting with a Nurse Ratched supervising his care. I didn’t want him waking up at night disoriented and lonely. Because he was inching closer to death, the greatest unknown, I didn’t want a facility, with all of its unknowns, to replace his familiar apartment, which I’d been sharing with him for more than a decade.
But in spring of last year, six weeks after Dad turned ninety-eight, I broke my promise.