For years, and especially as he entered his 90s, my father had begged me not to “dump” him into a nursing home. He had seen that happen to too many of his cronies, and his visits with them left him feeling depressed for days. I assured Dad I’d never put him in a facility.
It was an easy promise to make. I envisaged him in a “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” setting, supervised by a heartless Nurse Ratched, and I didn’t want that for him, either. I didn’t want him waking up at night disoriented and lonely. Because he was inching closer to death, the greatest unknown, I didn’t want an institution, with all its unknowns, replacing his familiar apartment, which I’d shared with him for more than a decade.
But in May last year, six weeks after Dad turned 98, I broke my promise