Nursing Home Life: More ‘Mean Girls’ Than “Golden Girls”?

“You can’t sit with us.”

The classic line from 2004’s Mean Girls movie perfectly embodied just how cliquey and cruel high school life can be in the modern age. The film’s characters carped at each other over everything from boyfriends and girlfriends to fashion and cafeteria seating choices.

But is nursing home life much different from high school?

That question came to mind as I read The New York Times’ recent entry on “nursing home style.” In it, a woman describes her thought pattern as she takes her elderly mother shopping. They were putting together a wardrobe to make a good impression at a new nursing home — an experience she likens to the first day at a new school.

“I want Ma to fit in,” the columnist writes. “I want her to be popular. I want her clothes to be right.”

“Are there mean girls in nursing homes?” she asks. “After a touring a few, I would say yes.”

Of course, residents in nursing homes or assisted living facilities have the benefit of experience and maturity… something Lindsay Lohan’s Mean Girls gals could have used more of. But the truth is that fashion, style, and social skills matter in almost every context… and at any age.

When picking the right community for you or your parents, it’s important to keep personalities and social atmospheres in mind. Some homes may make a better fit than others. And speaking of a good fit, a few new outfits can always help to lift the spirit.