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Nursing Home Residents Are Entitled to Enjoy Their Life

In a recent New York Times article, Dr. Marc Agronin draws our attention to society’s misguided perception of aging. He comments that we too often “imagine the pains of late-life ailments but not the joys of new pursuits; we recoil at the losses and loneliness and fail to embrace the wisdom and meaning that only age can bring.” The author who has worked in a nursing home for fifteen years recounts his imagined sadness upon meeting a 93 year old woman who entered the nursing home upon losing her husband of 73 years. The doctor asked the woman how she was coping, and, to his surprise, she responded that she was in “heaven” after enduring decades in an unhappy marriage with a verbally abusive man. The author also recounts the story of a woman who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease who had fallen in love with another nursing home resident and how they enjoy a “newfound innocence that perhaps only their memory loss restored.” These nursing home residents were enjoying her life in the nursing home, trying new activities and experiencing new relationships. Too often we envision life ending upon entering the nursing home with nursing home residents experiencing a loveless and lonely life with death hovering close by. After representing thousands of nursing home residents over the years, the Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti are well aware of this misperception and constantly strive to make sure that residents at nursing homes receive the care they deserve and enjoy the life they are entitled to, free of nursing abuse and neglect, as they enter a nursing home.