Veteran, 97, Booted From Senior Home
He thinks his ukulele playing may have been partially to blame
By Jenn Gidman, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2014 1:40 PM CDT
A 97-year-old vet says his retirement home kicked him out for his ukulele playing.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Until a couple weeks ago, 97-year-old Jim Farrell was entertaining fellow residents at a Napa Valley senior living facility, filling the halls with the sounds of his ukulele strums and singing, reports KTVU. But the veteran of three wars was reportedly asked to leave the Redwood Retirement Residence after he couldn’t keep his room as clean as staff wanted him to and couldn’t afford the $1,500 cleaning fee they charged for someone else to do it. He ended up living first in local motels, then in a nearby homeless shelter. "Watching him walk into an environment that no older person should ever have to be in … was wrenching my heart," says a senior advocate who has been helping Farrell. Last week, though, a stranger who heard his story helped Farrell get into another assisted living facility.

A statement from Redwood's parent company indicates that the veteran was told in February that his apartment was a health hazard, and that he had started to act aggressively. But Farrell himself thinks there may have been an additional impetus behind his eviction: his constant ukulele playing. "Management continually suppressed my talents," he tells KPIX 5. "Management would stop me and say … ‘Go back to your room!'" Farrell can now channel his best Don Ho in his new digs; an anonymous donor took care of payments through the end of July, and Farrell’s veteran’s benefits (and donations from local residents who’ve heard about his plight) will reportedly cover him after that. (Meanwhile, in Ohio, a veteran has been cited for his 14 "therapy ducks.")

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Showing 3 of 67 comments
Jul 26, 2014 12:44 PM CDT
This 97 year old man fought in three wars so these piece of shit rest homes have the right to treat him like shit. everyone should pull their parents out of there and make them go bankrupt.
Beverly Flynn
Jul 22, 2014 2:22 PM CDT
I can't believe no one in that home wouldn't help a 97 year old tidy up his room. And where were the (it's not my job, man) staff when the room started to get just a little out of control? No where to be found; they just ignored it. They generally have but 2 rules in a nursing home: do as little as possible and put everyone in diapers whether they need to be or not.
Jul 22, 2014 2:02 PM CDT
They kicked a 97 year old man out into the cold. ... maybe he can go live with his mom.