December 30, 2021

Living together in diversity

assisted living facility- dignity lifestyle township

Many of us have grown in households with plenty of relatives, extended or joint families allowing us to share the love and caring of our grandparents. As the children grew older, their grandparents too aged. There was a lot of nurturing, caring and inclusivity as the adults married and families grew. However, over a period of time, due to many constraints and compulsions these families shrunk to nuclear ones and children began to move on, many living outside their hometowns or even going abroad.

While most ageing population would prefer living in their own homes, due to lack of numerous resources and many with several physical and mental illness health issues move into various homes or geriatric centres. This community too is like an extended family as many deal with their various issues needing assisted care while few members plan in advance to join such communities as they age gracefully.

In places like Dignity Lifestyle, one sees sharing of space and co-existence with those with independent and assisted living and this even extends to accepting people of different genders, religious communities and those with different food choices. There is an Assisted Living Centre that caters to those members who are facing mental health conditions and psychological disabilities, something which many face as they grow older. Now the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, volume 29, issue 10, October 2021, has carried a paper on Human Rights to Inclusive living and care for older people with mental health conditions. ‘This paper presents a human-rights based approach toward inclusive housing with care arrangements for older persons with mental health conditions and psychosocial disability…’ The paper elaborates how community-based models of housing fulfil the “Human rights of older persons to a better extent than traditional care settings. They are focused on key values such as reciprocity, building on remaining strengths and capacities, dignity and fostering inclusion and participation within the broader social context.”

On these lines, this shared community life at Dignity Lifestyle values the human rights of those in need to mental and psychological at the same time care is given upholding their dignity. In fact those there are exclusive spaces for those who do not suffer from any mental and psychological illnesses, but there is still a spirit of togetherness as there are shared open spaces giving the feeling of togetherness and fostering the spirit of inclusivity.

This is extended to the prayer room as well, as one sees a space designated to every religious community. On one particular day prayers for members of one community are taken, while it is also open to other members. Here too space is shared, as many believe all gods are one, or no particular day matters, faith is above all. Those who follow any particular sect, there are people who come over to read the scriptures and interact with the members. This inclusivity is the fundamental of any family structure and here too it is strongly bound by these values.

Social inclusion also gives a sense of purpose to these adults, many of whom can still contribute in small ways or more. Just as they need to be accepted and respected, it is good for the entire gated community when all try to willingly accept each other, especially because the failing health conditions are not within the control of each individual. This mutual respect and social inclusion also contributes to the esteem of seniors and to those who need assistance. Those seniors who are ailing are often seen fighting many battles within themselves more so, because they are forced to be dependent on others. Alienating them only adds to their challenges. Sometimes, due one’s own problems and strong personal likes or dislikes, few seniors end up alienating themselves, which can also play havoc on their mental and emotional well-being, feeling lonely and often staying to themselves.

A few smiles take one many miles.

#Dementia #assistedliving #carefordementia #inclusivity #diversity

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