EARLIER YEARS: LIFE WITHIN
FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES
My mother used to do everything for everybody. Everything that they needed they
—A resident's daughter, ten months after her mother's admission
She had some money friends, fair weather friends who were there only when she paid
them for something.
—A resident's friend, one year after her friend's admission
Whenever there was a hole, thefamily asked her to fill it up…. She was the spokes-
person for her mother. She took her everywhere.
A resident's niece, seven years after her aunt's admission
THIS CHAPTER IS ABOUT the earlier adult lives of the Acacia residents, their lives before they developed the conditions that resulted in nursing home placement. It is about their relationships with relatives, friends, and other acquaintances in their communities. They knew neighbors in their apartment buildings; participated in religious organizations; developed relationships with coworkers; and were active in political organizations, voluntary organizations such as the Girl Scouts, and self-help organizations, including Alcoholics Anonymous.
Life within their families was an important aspect of their earlier experiences, and the family relationships of some residents in each group were influenced by their migration or immigration experiences. Sometimes their moves involved separation from relatives and friends permanently or temporarily. In this chapter, migration refers to movement within national borders, and immigration refers to movement across international borders. The movement of African American residents from the South to the North in the United States, of an Afro-Caribbean resident from St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands to the U.S. mainland, and of Puerto Rican residents from the island to the mainland is referred to as migration. The movement of AfroCaribbean residents from Anguilla and from Jamaica, that of Jewish residents from England, Germany, Poland, and Russia, and this of Latina/o residents from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Mexico is referred to as