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Monday, August 19, 2013

Happy Days Farm

by Sam Huntington

No matter what they call it, one short visit to a nursing home (or assisted living, if you care to butter it up) is enough to convince anyone that this is no way to end their lives. Places like this is where today’s successful 40-somethings take their parents when they no longer wish to be saddled with dementia and incontinence. It is an utterly depressing existence and may help to explain why the suicide rate is so high among individuals 55 years and older.

A neighbor recently put his wife in one of those facilities; the place is a horror, and the story isn’t pleasant. She, 8 years his senior, amassed several hundreds of thousands of dollars over a career in real estate and federal service. Additionally, she is entitled to federal pension and social security payments. He, a highly unsuccessful general contractor, is not even eligible for social security payments; he lives off his wife’s income.

The truth about the wife is that she suffers from cognitive deterioration. I actually do not think that she suffers quite as much as everyone around her. In any case, there isn’t any “to have and to hold until death do us part” in that household. Husband placed her into the Happy Days Farm for safekeeping. He told me, “She’s too much of a bother.” And, if one ignores the moral issue, it isn’t such a bad deal because by hiding her fortune, he found a way to receive additional government assistance from social security and state Medicaid.

Husband had his wife declared incompetent, which means that he now controls all her money. I suppose this is not altogether unusual in the way things normally work, but there is more. Not only does wife stay at Happy Days Farm at our expense, husband has additional tricks up his sleeve. I’ll come back to this.

As I already mentioned, there is nothing envious about the wife’s existence at Happy Days Farm. The farmers awaken her at 6 a.m., prod her into making her bed and performing morning ablutions, and then corral her (and others) down to the dining room for a breakfast of eggs, grits, and calming medications. Without the medications, wife is a Tasmanian devil and no one wants to put up with that.

After breakfast, farmers herd their guests into an open area sheltered and secured by a high brick wall, for morning exercise. I suppose this is to help accelerate the calming medications to the brain. After about 30 minutes of this, the guests are taken into the television room where they watch the morning talk shows. Of course, after medications, no one really understands anything under discussion. Most of the guests simply stare at the television screen and deposit drool on the front of their smocks.

At mid-day, the farmers herd everyone back to the dining room for lunch. The noon meal consists of a sandwich, tea, and enough meds to carry the guests through the afternoon. After lunch, everyone is again sitting in front of the television watching soap operas, or they can sit out on the patio if they prefer. Most don’t care either way.

As I mentioned a moment ago, the soap operas are almost nothing compared to the wife’s on true-life adventures. You see, Hubby hasn’t been exactly faithful all the years of their marriage. He would have divorced wife a long time ago, were it not for her money. And now that she’s both demented and incontinent, he moved his girlfriend or mistress of some years into the home no longer occupied by wife. Oh, they did all the right things, such as selling all her furniture and buying new replacements. New dishes. New silverware. New carpet. New cars. I mean no one wants to be reminded that the lady of that house is still alive and living not far away at the Happy Days Farm.

It really is enough to make you lose faith in humanity.

When you think of it for a few moments, isn’t that exactly what is going on in our society today? Like the woman who exchanged vows with her husband, to take care of one another until death takes one of them away, we all believed that we could place our trust in our unique government. You know, the government of us … the people. Why, we even believed that anyone could become president of these United States. But it isn’t true, is it? No, it isn’t. All these things someone told us were wives tales, and the truth is that our government has behaved in a manner similar to the unfaithful husband and the folks at Happy Days Farm.

Contrary to everything we were told, our federal and state governments do not encourage fearless or rugged individualism. In fact, they prefer just the opposite: docile, pliable, gullible citizens who are easily prodded into doing what the government wants them to do. To achieve these kinds of citizens, they’ve transformed public education into brainwashing factories. It is a fact that the longer our children stay in public schools, the dumber they become. But there’s more …

Government then takes these malleable citizens and convinces them that it is patriotic to give more than half of their earnings to the government —for the common good, of course. No wonder half of the American people any longer wants to work. And why should they? Whether they work or not, they get unlimited access to free stuff: housing, food, police and fire services, paramedic services, free health care, swell infrastructure and buses that almost run on time.

Except that none of this is really free, is it? Don’t we pay for all these things we give to people as a reward for voting for democrats/progressives/communists? Well, I mean, don’t half of us pay for them?

The other half does not pay anything in order to receive the wondrous benefits of the Happy Days Farm. And of course, they behave exactly the way the folks at Happy Days Farm want them to behave.

Americans didn’t used to be docile. Moreover, they used to take care of their husbands and wives, according to the vow they took before God.


  1. What concerns you more, condemning the husband or comforting the wife?

    If the latter, what would you do believe he could do for her or any woman in her condition?

    Francis of Asissi

    1. Neither of those things concerns me. What does concern me is the direction society is taking this country.

    2. You cannot comfort the wife- that is not the question. And as to condemning the husband's actions- you bet! As his actions are abominations in human interaction, and many underhanded deal this way today it seems, and there is no outcry.

  2. How does this woman stay at this facility at our expense without having to "spend down" her assets?

    Is her husband a lawyer?

    Government assistance for long term care is supposed to require that her assets be spent BEFORE the one needing such care gets assistance from the government.

    The facility itself appears to be a disgrace! There are much nicer facilities -- particularly if the patient is self-pay. Why isn't this woman a patient in a self-pay facility.

    Personal stories now...

    Back in 2009, Mary Elizabeth, one of my distant cousins and a widow with no children, had to go to the hospital because she was obviously suffering from dementia. The government of D.C. took over her care and stuck her in a terrible facility -- never mind that Mary Elizabeth had significant assets, assets that would have paid for a luxurious nursing home.

    Thank God Mary Elizabeth had good neighbors of long standing! They were horrified by what they saw when they visited a few weeks after my cousin had been moving into the home. Mary Elizabeth wasn't being fed, she was lying in the bed in her own filth, etc. These wonderful neighbors -- at their own expense -- called an attorney. Very shortly thereafter, my cousin was moved into an excellent facility, where she spent her final few weeks as a self-pay patient.

    Anyone who is in any kind of medical facility needs an advocate to oversee what's going on.

    When Mr. AOW was in the nursing home for 5 weeks back in 2009, I visited every day -- usually 2-3 times a day. Of course, Mr. AOW was a patient whose health insurance at that time would pay for such a facility for stroke rehab purposes.

    Medicare, however, doesn't always offer good facilities as an option. Furthermore, Medicare does not pay for residence in a nursing home; rather, Medicare pays only for rehab in a skilled nursing facility (certain nursing homes). It is Medicaid that pays for warehousing.

    PS: Does the husband described in the body of the blog post ever visit his wife? Other than getting her to sign checks and legal documents, that is.

    1. The husband is a snake, but that doesn’t make him stupid. Before he locked her away, he obtained the necessary legal documents to control community property. Does he visit her? He does visit her at Christmas. How did he hide all her money? I have no idea. I do agree that she should have an advocate ... and would have one, I think, if anyone complained about what is going on. Without first hand knowledge of all facts, this isn't very likely.

  3. Sadly, I agree the the mans deplorable behavior is symptomatic the the way our entire country is going. Ends are justified by whatever means necessary.

  4. I used to inspect these "Homes" for work place hazards. Although some are better than others I NEVER saw one that I would want to stay in. I took early retirement just to keep my mother out of such; commuting between Denver and Columbus, bimonthly, for four years!

  5. I wonder where the workers striking McDonald's for a wage increase and better conditions fit into Sam's image.

    Are they compliant patients who haven't bothered to listen to Thomas Sowell's boilerplate bull crap. No rugged individualists there, right, Sam.
    In fact they work fast food so in Sam's world they're dumb. In Sam world's posturing a knowledge of early American history qualifies as unsullied by education.

    But the analogy may hold up if we consider Libertarians as the husband.
    Anyway, it's junk, Sam.

    1. I’m not sure what this post has to do with McDonald’s labor woes. Hijacking the thread again? Change in direction, perhaps? Actually, I do not think that increases to the minimum wage do much good, either for workers or consumers. Who in the hell chooses a career with McDonalds? I’d say that anyone who takes on the franchise is living on the edge, and I admire their courage to make a silk purse out of sow’s ear … but the people who work for minimum wage are not fries-with-that-careerists. Do us all a favor, Ducky … go back to your pipe.

    2. It has quite a bit to do with it.

      You manage to segue into your standing right wing whining about a nation of "docile, pliable, gullible citizens" with poor educations.

      I don't know whether its a matter that you don't have the intelligence to look around and see that the least compliant people in this culture are the ones you condemn.
      And you support unionizing, right Sam. Bore me later.

      You are the husband in your little parable. Your snotty little tale about living off someones wealth ... blah,blah,blah. The hole Thomas Sowell libertarian show tune that has torn this country down since the days of Saint Ronnie Raygun.
      I know exactly what I'm talking about and I am not hijacking anything.

    3. Bore you later? You're at our blog, dipstick ... there is no requirement for you to bore us with your inane babble. Honestly, I don’t even care what you think … unless you’re dropping those pretenses.

      No, I don't think you know what your talking about. Just leftist talking points. Goodbye, clown.

  6. As I said at Geeez ... there isn't a single time when Ducky opens his quaker that he doesn't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he's a complete idiot. And of course, Beamish was correct to point out there is no way to have a mature, respectful, honest discussion with Ducky unless or until he drops all pretenses and admits that he’s a complete moron.

    1. The above twaddle reflects Ducky’s brain on drugs. Go easy on him.

    2. This argument is nonsensical, complete tosh.

  7. I see that Ducky is coming down on the side of docile citizens who do what they’re told … if they know what’s good for them. Ducky’s plan almost sounds like Chicago style corruption, or Marxism. I never saw that coming.

  8. so tragic AOW and yet some families simply cant live with the elders...what a moral dilemna eh..............

  9. I guess Ducky doesn't like Thomas Sowell.

    1. I don't really think it is so much that Ducky doesn’t like Dr. Sowell; I think he can’t abide a successful black people. Probably feels threatened. Ducky probably wonders, “Well how did that sambo get out of McDonald’s?” And I think it get’s worse if the black man happens to be a successful conservative. Whoa! Katie bar that door!

  10. Yes, the guy is a snake. This brought back some memories, which I write about here, after linking to your post: http://bobagard.blogspot.com/2013/08/nursing-home-memories.html

  11. Ducky's desultory rambeling gives rise to two possibilities:

    1) He is out-of-his-mind

    2) He is just trying to garner attention

    #1 He is a psycho

    #2 He is an anal retentive juvenile masquerading as an adult

  12. Very sad commentary on a thieving, cheating hubby. Too bad the wife doesn't have a caring child/niece/nephew/sibling to step in and help sort it out. Makes me think of that song, "Only the good die young." Perhaps it should be "Only the smart die young" or before dementia sets in. Losing your mind is a frightening proposition for all of us. Much better to be bed-ridden for full faculties.
    Of course the government tries their hardest to treat all of us like cattle. Why did John Kerry make that idiotic statement about the internet making it "hard for them to get their message across." Because unlike their cock hold on so much of the MSM, they can't control the millions and millions of voices and messages on the internet.

  13. Sam's just full of shit as usual. He gives a one-sided, bare-bones version that makes him sound righteous at the expense of some person whose name he doesn't give, then sits back and congratulates himself on his undoubtedly Pulitzer Prize winning reporting.

    This story is utterly lacking in substance. Who, when, where? What money is charged to whom, who pays, how much, their ages, their incomes, their assets??? Just for starters.

    Sam belongs in one of those homes.

    1. Anonymous,
      Get over it! This is a blog -- not traditional journalism.

    2. Lady Liberty! Haven't seen you around the blogosphere in a while!


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