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Room 108

Aging Long Term Care

Richard "Dick" Weinman is an Oregonian who had an active lifestyle--OSU professor, writer, biker, and marathoner. But a horrendous collision with a cement truck in 2005 left him broken, burned, and clinically dead. Medical responders resuscitated Dick and he began a long journey of recovery.

One year after his accident, Dick entered an Assisted Living Facility (ALF), where he's been ever since. While that's what his body needed, he found that his independent mind and spirit didn't really fit in. He was known as "Room 108."

Rather than just giving up, Dick chose to use his experiences as an ALF "insider" for the benefit of others. His blogging is now a teaching tool for the Oregon Department of Human Services, he's an in-demand speaker on aging, and he's created a documentary video The Thin Edge of Dignity.

Now, I work with folks in the second half of life and have a pretty good grasp of senior care issues and living arrangements. But there's a big difference between knowing it in an academic sense and actually seeing it through the eyes of someone who's living it. Dick's story--funny, vulnerable, and raw--has broadened my perspective and given me an even greater level of empathy. Perhaps it will for you too...check it out.


Sources:
Thanks for Messing Up My Life--the Thin Edge of Dignity (AARP Oregon)
The Thin Edge of Dignity (YouTube)