Movie Review:

The Thin Edge of Dignity

As part of the Ombudsman* volunteer training, they had us watch a compelling documentary about assisted living facilities (ALF). The short documentary, The Thin Edge of Dignity, is specifically told from the perspective of one man, Dick Weinman; injured in a car accident, Dick went from being an extremely active, independent, and outdoors oriented guy, to a severely disabled patient living in an assisted living facility, with very little autonomy or privacy. You can watch the short film HERE.

In addition to the video, I found THIS well-written and brutally honest piece Dick wrote for AARP, also about his experience in an ALF. Not only is he a great writer, but also honest and blunt, offering a raw viewpoint of what day to day life is like for so many people living in institutional care.

“No matter what I have accomplished in my life – to be an Emeritus Professor, to have created a university department, to have shepherded a family of twelve children.  No matter the respect I’ve accrued as a Foster Grandparent, volunteer in the public schools, as a marathoner and triathlete, as a member of boards and commissions, the love of friends – who I am. Here, I’m Apartment 108, a person who may have to sit on the toilet fifteen minutes or more waiting for someone to come get me off – and wipe me.”


Highly recommend. Watch this, preferably with someone in complete denial about aging, and then make add “setting up an Advanced Care Directive” on your weekend to-do list. While most people prefer not to think about difficult situations such as Dick’s, the reality is, a life-changing illness or accident can happen at any time.

What is an Ombudsman? Glad you asked – check out THIS explanation.

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