Reader: the elderly and mentally ill don’t mix

Zettie Miller's Haven on Rosemarie Lane, an 82-unit affordable housing project, is an uneasy mix of seniors, veterans, the mentally ill and the disabled, some tenants say.

Neal A. Haight writes:

“Not that my opinion carries any weight, but I think it’s plain nuts to put the mentally ill under the same roof as the elderly.

“As you know, I live at the Motel 6 here in Tracy. I’ve been here since September 27, 2016, and can tell you that people under the age of 55 don’t belong with the elderly. I’m 62, by the way.

“I almost had a heart attack, when some thirty-something slob in the room above whacked his hardwood floor with what sounded like a sledge hammer at 3:00 a.m.. I complained to the desk, twelve hours earlier, that he was deliberately stomping his feet, and repeatedly dropping heavy items. The clerk called his room and warned him in a kind, and friendly manner to be quiet from 10 p.m.-8 a.m., and he did it to pay me back.

“When I reported this, the clerk put me upstairs from then on.

“All that said, Mike, I can tell you that people 55 and older need their own housing and facilities.”

Haight is living it, so his opinion does carry weight. But I still think a respectful, empathetic and firm management is the key. Mangement at “Zettie” doesn’t seem to grasp how emotionally frail some of its elderly tenants are. They can’t have mental health clients railing at them.

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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