No Old Folks in My Backyard

May 25, 2011 at 2:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

What is it with people and their fear of nursing homes (last item, “Not in my backyard”)? The objection over a “memory home”—a euphemism for a nursing home devoted to Alzheimers and dementia care—at 27th and Wilderness Hills Blvd. is just plain silly. Neighbors’ complaints include:

  • Traffic problems. Apparently area residents are extreme optimists. Have you ever spent much time in an Alzheimers care facility? Nobody wants to go there. Any traffic problems will be limited to vehicles driving extremely slowly while turning into the facility and vehicles speeding while driving away from it. Neighbors should be more concerned about how few visitors the residents get, not how many. (Which reminds me: I haven’t gone to see my grandmother in a long time.)
  • Reduced home values. Maybe, but I can’t imagine the effect will be measurable compared to the fact that there are a large shopping center and two major arterials within spitting distance. If you were shopping for a house, which would your eyes be more drawn to as a source of problems: a quiet, residential, home-like facility; or a Kohl’s?
  • Wandering elderly people. I’m starting to think the neighbors are toying with us. This isn’t The Simpsons, for Pete’s sake! Senile old people don’t just escape and terrorize the neighborhood. Well ... I suppose they could, but not in any sort of well-run facility. Every Alzheimers facility I’ve been in has been locked down so tightly it’s almost depressing.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: nursing homes and similar facilities are harmless neighbors which, if they’re doing it right, should be welcomed as neighborhood assets rather than greeted with pitchforks and torches. I happen to live near two such facilities. In fact, my two youngest boys go to Homestead every Wednesday to play with the residents. The residents love having the boys around, and the boys are learning some wonderful lessons via intergenerational interactions.

I understand some cases of nimbyism (even though I often don’t agree with them). But this ... this is just silly. The complainers need to take some time to think about who is actually harming the neighborhood.

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The Comments

Fletch May 26, 2011 at 3:59am

This is no joke. I came across a wandering elderly person a few weekends ago during a run. Odd.

foxspit May 26, 2011 at 2:13pm

These objections are ridiculous. If I had undeveloped land next to me, I would view this as good news. They will maintain their property better than most and they will be quiet neighbors.

This is exactly where facilities like this belong.

meatball May 26, 2011 at 2:53pm

Same silliness occurred a few years ago near 27th & Old Cheney when that Alzheimer’s facility was proposed. They weren’t big fans of the CVS going in there either. I deem it NIMBY Neighborhood.

Mr. Wilson May 26, 2011 at 3:17pm

<em>Same silliness occurred a few years ago near 27th & Old Cheney when that Alzheimer

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