10 January

The Real Mansion, The Lucky Ones

by Jon Katz

While most of the Mansion is shut down, five or six residents have been able to stay in one wing, they are fortunate and they know it. The Mansion is such a comfortable place for them, and the care center they are staying in is very different.

Even today, there is more activity going on in the main residence than is in most adult care centers in a week. Madeline was watching  a movie today, “Grease,” and Julie Harlin, the Mansion Activities Director was hosting a bingo game for Matt, who has stayed behind in the Mansion, and Peggie, who came to the Mansion from her daughter’s home to spend the day.

“I miss being home,” Peggie said. She was playing cards with Julie and Matt – they were playing “Rummy.” I wanted to cry, seeing how at ease and secure the Mansion residents feel in their home, and how upset the evacuated residents feel where the are.

I have not seen a single activity at the Danforth Adult Care Center all week. The Mansion refugees are struggling and feeling especially fragile there, while state bureaucrats pile up one investigation after another – today it’s the possibility of asbestos.

We visited with the Mansion left-behind residents today – Ruth, Wayne, Peggie, Matt, Ben and Madeline. I brought some photo books and Bud, he did well visiting, he loves to be petted.


    1. There’s nothing wrong with the Danforth, Nora, they do a good job caring for their people, I’m sure. They are quite typical of assisted care facilities in America, especially those that are not private. As I’ve said before, it’s the Mansion that’s unusual, it is a special place, it is not like any other assisted care facility I’ve visited. But I’m sure there are many very good ones, it’s not for me to judge them, that’s not my purpose. America doesn’t spend much on elderly care, after all, they aren’t fighter jets.

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