Are You Still Using the "F" Word?



I recently attended a professional conference where aging services leaders shared their knowledge and experience. Although overall I found the sessions engaging, I was struck by how often presenters used the word “facility” instead of “community” when referencing older adult residential settings. These were industry leaders with an understanding of the challenges faced by those of us in the field, and it took me by surprise to hear this word used to describe our communities.

If we are interested in presenting a fuller truth about what it means to age well in a group setting, whether it be independent living, assisted living, or other level of care, we need to start by recognizing that no one wants to live in a “facility.” People live in communities. I suggest we keep a version of the “Swear Jar” on the premises, and when anyone uses “The F(acility) Word,” money goes into the jar. When the jar fills up, use the money to throw a party for the people who choose to live in your community.