John Gould masterfully weaves a tale about what it’s like to live in a congregated senior establishment in “Tales from Rhapsody Home” (Harcourt, 2000).

While I’m not of age to live in such a facility, my parents moved to one more than a decade ago. I hear my father’s voice in some of Gould’s tales; especially the ones about wanting the facility to make changes. Changes that never happened.

Like Gould and his wife, my parents, too, said enough was enough. Ironically (or not), after the Camp Fire in Paradise, my mom is now back in a similar facility. She’s also eight years older than when she left the last one. That alone makes a difference, but is not enough of one for her to want to stay.

About the book. Yes, it struck a chord because of being able to relate through my parents. Gould gives a glimpse – and it’s not all bad – into what life is like in such an institution, if one can get away with calling it that.

He goes off on tangents that in some ways help explain what led him to this type of housing and to why he might have issues with it.

It’s a quick, light read – one of those slice of life stories. It also makes you think about getting older and what type of housing is appropriate for people of a certain age. As a society we should be able to do better.

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