A highly respected and well-loved pharmacist in the town, Mr. Schultz had served his community for many years. After his retirement, however, he and his wife moved into our retirement community because he had developed dementia . . .
A resident of our assisted living community, he dressed in Hawaiian shirts every day, so they were immediately visible . . .
Older than his wife, he knew the odds were against him outliving her . . .
He made that very clear from the start. To everyone who cared to listen (which weren’t many) . . .
The son came into our community looking into a memory care apartment for his father. He and his brother were having challenges with him, he said. “What kind of challenges?” I asked . . .
With their backs against the wall and arms locked together, they edged along their narrow path—to no avail. . .
When I started working in senior living a number of years ago, my wife had a word of caution to me. Knowing how attuned I already was to seniors and how empathetic I was (and am) . . .
She had been the caregiver for her husband, who was suffering from dementia, for quite some time . . .
Having walked alongside hundreds (if not thousands) of seniors in my career, (as well as my parents, grandparents and in-laws), I’ve learned a bit about this crooked path in aging I’m calling, “the gray mile” . . .