Commentary: My Days As A Whippersnapper In A Retirement Home

`So let's see if I have this right," said my friend Walt over the phone. "You went to Georgia to put your great-uncle in a retirement home, and now you're living there?" Yes, at age 39, I was living in Jefferson Place, a retirement home--or "senior house" as it's called locally--in Thomasville, Ga., a small town 13 miles from the Florida line, population 17,800. People assume it must have been a miserable experience. It was comical perhaps, but not miserable. I got a look at elder care that few people my age get. And I discovered that all of the guilt and consternation I experienced at the prospect of sending my uncle to a "home" was misplaced.

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