By Janice Auritt Oser, W. 51st St.
The concerns of the residents objecting to the building of a 20-story nursing home in their neighborhood are certainly deserving of a sympathetic hearing. We all grow old, however, even those residents objecting on behalf of their school-age children. The day may come when some of the objecting residents would be grateful for a facility like Jewish Home Lifecare in their neighborhood, where not only family but friends from their old haunts could visit them.
I recommend for them the book by Roz Chast about the end of life experience of her parents. They lived in a city apartment (in Brooklyn) that their daughter did not visit for 11 years. During those years, her parents drove, or, finally, were driven by a car service, to see her in Connecticut. When their daughter finally did visit her parents' city apartment, she saw that they were not managing well, and she got them moved to what she calls The Place, a nursing home near her home.
The residents objecting to the JHL project might someday come to see the value of a place of refuge for the old and ill near their old haunts, where not only family but friends from their old haunts could visit them. The local schoolchildren could be enlisted to show off their musical or other skills to entertain the elderly residents. It might even help those children to grow up as loving and caring adult children who visit their parents often.
There are all too few retirement homes, with levels of need, starting with assisted living and transitioning to levels of more care, in Manhattan or nearby.