Age 22 And Living In Assisted Living
I was 22 years old when I packed up my Kia Sephia and headed to Osakis, Minnesota. This is where I did my grad school practicum experience for the summer. If any of you have been to Osakis, it is a great, quiet, small town. I needed a place to stay while I was there which proved to be a little difficult. The majority of places which had vacancies required a one year lease and you had to be at least 55 years old or older. Both of those stipulations made my search pretty difficult. For awhile I had even entertained camping for the 8 weeks in a nearby campground. I wasn’t too crazy about that idea so I had asked my soon to be clinical instructor if he had an idea of places I should check into. He responded with the Assisted Living facility which was attached to the fitness center I was going to my practicum at had a room open which I could use.
At first, I was not thinking this was a good idea, however, after about 5 minutes of thinking; I was absolutely excited to move in. I would have 400 square foot studio apartment all to myself for an entire summer, which was a pretty big step up from sharing a house with 6 other girls!
So I moved into one of the West View Assisted Living Apartments. My neighbors were 90 and 95. One continually thought I was his daughter and the other drank me under the table (in coffee of course). I had two Rubbermaid bins, a blow up mattress and 2 weeks of clothes. It. Was. Awesome! I loved it. I was in the middle of nowhere, and the people were fabulous. I would spend my evenings watching baseball, doing puzzles, and playing cards with the residents. Sometimes I would spend time riding a tricycle with a giant basket on it around town on their various trails, and other times eating at people’s homes, who graciously accepted me as a temporary grandchild.
Galeon is a retirement complex. It had a nursing home, assisted living, memory care and independent living apartments all connected to a workout facility with a pool, state-of-the-art weight equipment, and more luncheon and bingo options that I could ever attend in one summer.
I spent a large amount of time treating injuries of active agers, and teaching them lifting techniques (yes, even 90 year olds lift weights) and developing fall prevention programs. One crazy thing about living where you work is you do get fully immersed into it. I learned more than just Athletic Training skills during this practicum experience, I built relationships that I will always remember, and I definitely got some good stories to take with me!