Readers — Here’s a heart-sinker: A Minnesota community doesn’t want a facility for Alzheimer’s patients to move in, because old people, even though supervised, might hurt – or even traumatize by their very weirdness — their kids. So much for diversity. So much for community. So much for compassion.
As John Tevlin writes in this great Star Tribune column:
Nearly everyone who spoke against the facility had concerns that their children might be attacked or see an elderly adult do something inappropriate.
But Janelle Meyers, housing director for Prairie Lodge Assisted Living unit, also run by Ecumen in Brooklyn Park, said children are regular guests there. The caretakers of the most severely affected people are highly trained. “They know the residents very well, and can anticipate when problems are most likely to occur,” she said.
Meyers brings her son to work frequently, and there is a day-care center directly across the street.
“They bring the kids here on a regular basis,” Meyers said. “They do crafts and sing. It’s good for both of them to have contact with each other.”
“Some people don’t have respect for older adults,” Meyers said. “They are undervalued, and, personally, I think that’s so sad.”
I think so, too. And the fear of old people seems as misguided as it gets. I guess the same old truth prevails: The more separated we are from any group of people — by race or creed or, now, age — the more we begin to fear them. Even geezers. — Lenore