Saturday, July 29, 2006

Why Would I Move?

Hey, good to see you!  I had a feeling you'd be here today, isn't that weird?  I'll tell you what's weird is the idea of this Journaling, I mean imagine:  You get to talk to yourself, knowing people are listening, and you stay sane!  In fact you keep going back and do it over and over.  Love it!

Remember when the Princess of Wales was still amongst us, and Prince Charles was having that "private" phone call?  I remember only one sentence from those days, he said he felt like "...that last little piece that just won't flush."  Lesson?  Even the House of Windsor has lousy plumbing.  Anyhoo...

I live in Newark, New Jersery and I love my building, never a plumbing problem.  It's a large but cozy habitat for disabled folks over 50, and has everything set out for all kinds of ortho equipment like canes, wheelchairs, walkers; we have health-care workers who come in daily for some tenants, a large room where they serve breakfast and lunch for anyone who wants to partake (a bit heavy on the pancakes and saugage though, I don't go).  They have a room for games like bingo, ladies sit and chat while knitting, there's the recquisite amount of gossip, and the kicker is the security - we have 24/7 security guards with cameras everywhere, making sure the building and the folks in it are safe and that no one gets past the first set of doors without being scanned.  Then they have to sign in and leave a picture ID even if just visiting - I like that, even though many think it's a bit much.  They get it back when they leave.  One one side of the building there's a walled in area with picnic tables, umbrellas, gardens, just a nice big place if you want to be outside to read, sit and talk, do crosswords which I always love, eat, drink and be secure.  No one can walk in off the street.  No loitering.  A large parking lot out back with trees, gardens, and a secure fencing set-up, discreet cameras everywhere manned by security officers inside.  Locked mailboxes, a huge double lobby they decorate with each seasonal holiday - big enough for two creches and three trees, lights, all the gee-gaws we elders expect.  There's a chapel which I attend every Sunday whic has a nice baby grand piano and I get to play.  Yes, I pray when I play.  I bought a book of mostly Baptist gospel hymns because they seem to enjoy those, so I can play anything they want to sing.  There's a convenient (much too convenient) slew of candy machines, there's soda, fresh milk and juices, and every floor (8) has it's own little sitting room with couches and tables, chairs, where we meet now and again to discuss anything a tenant feels needs addressing.  The management encourages this!  Every floor has about 40-50 apartments, in a square shape (never counted, think I will) and you have a choice of small stuido, large studio, one, two or three-bedroom apartment.  I have the smallest studio so I can keep it clean myself.  Nice little kitchen.  We have two separate rooms of two washers and dryers on each floor, operated by cards instead of coins, two recyclying rooms for our garbage (my place is directly across from both rooms, I'm especially blessed.  They felt with my wheelchair it would make things easier - I've been on a walker and cane now though for about 6 years, yeah!!)  We have an in-house doctor downstairs who mostly cares for the myriad of diabetic folks but sees anyone who needs it, a top-notch dentist who visits yearly, my goodness I could go on - think I will.  

Management is tenant-friendly almost to a fault.  Although your lease is month-to-month, the majority of us stay a long time.  All utilities included in rent.  No transients or young people with children, I'm afraid.  But that's how it's planned out.  Management makes their employees available 5 days a week, they're courteous, respectful and patient (that can be hard with the folks in the first stages of Alzheimer's).  This isn't a nursing home by any means, so if someone becomes entirely bedridden they're transferred through social services to a suitable place.  

What else - the rent, you're thinking, right?  Okay it's $800 for everyone, no matter the size of your place.  Everyone here has some disability of a type, and their SSI covers a portion of the rent.  Mine is okay since I worked all my life, so right now I only pay $300.  Most people live alone but know everyone, especially their neighbors.  We haveeach others' phone numbers for emergencies but don't need them really, since there's these little silver boxes in each apartment about knee-high and each has a button to push which immediately barks out a loud, persistent beeping, bringing security at the run.  We also have portable "alarms" you wear around your neck, it's about the size of a pendant, unseen under your clothes and useful if you're especially afraid of falling, which is reasonable with all the elder folks who live alone here.  Each room has a alarm in a convenient spot, especially the bathroom (with great plumbing as you know lol).  Smoke detectors.  Triple locks.  Those hospital handle-bars in every room.  Beautiful, lush park across the street, only a few little corners stores though, no big grocery stores like Shop-Rite, that's the only flaw, but for good reason:  This building takes up a complete city block and was built to be a dwelling set apart from the crowds of downtown city living.  It doesn't have anything to attract young kids who do nothing but walk around in jeans they painted on, or others up to no good.  But if anyone has the capital they could do worse than open a Shop-Rite near here - it would be packed daily.  Police patrol all the time.  Never had a fire here but we did have a lovers' spat between two men and one stabbed the other, that was 5 years ago.  This is Newark, after all.  Evidence of the homicide disappeared surprisingly quickly .... we have people here in their 90's who walk better and faster than I do - everyone walks faster than me, what the hey.  But it's fine, the disabilities that knocked me down 12 years ago didn't knock me out, I'm good to go.  But never from here lol that's a no-brainer.                                              

8 comments:

sugarsweet056 said...

Sounds GREAT! Glad you like it!!!! Too expensive for me, my total SS check is less that that.
Hugs, Sugar

onestrangecat said...

sounds like a great place to live! could use a place like that around here.
do they allow pets?

Kathy

queenb8261 said...

How great.  I wish we could have found a place like that for my Dad before he went into the nursing home.  He wasn't ready for that place, but he needed people around him with good minds and people who could offer him a hand when he needed.  You're very lucky
I believe that God put on  Earth to accomplish a certain number of things.  Right now I am so far behind, I will never die.  
Barb  

queeniemart said...

I love how you describe where you live.....you seem happy there and wow, it really sounds like its run WELL....some of places have crappy management.
HUGS,lisa

artloner said...

It sounds like the perfect spot!  


See you tomorrow, Darlin'.

xoxoxo,
Andi

lurkynat said...

hey great entry!
thanks! interesting!
love,natalie

gehi6 said...

I enjoyed reading about your complex which is very similar to the Westward Ho in Phoenix, AZ where I live, except yours sounds considerably safer.  Our residents are becoming increasingly more problem prone, (mentally disabled) since the elderly and disabled have fled to other complexes because of all the torn up streets and sidewalks surrounding us, and I do mean torn up.  But due to your description I think I have got a pretty good idea  Do you ever watch "Waiting for God", the British sit com aboutn Tom and Diana's experiences in Bayview, a British senior citizen complex.  Doc and I watch it every week.  We relate!  Gerry

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