A few weeks ago, a disruption was reported late in the morning in Fountain Hills, Arizona, where police soon found a 72 year-old man shot twice in his home. Earlier that morning his mother, who had been up for days upset about a dispute they’d been having, walked into the room where her son and his girlfriend slept, and killed them. What was the object of this dispute? Fear of being neglected at a nursing home.
Before the incident, Anna Mae Blessing had been living with her son and his girlfriend for about six months. The two didn’t get along very well and on multiple occasions each one had called the police, both separately suspecting the other of potential violent behavior. Within the house, there were 13 guns, 11 which belonged to the unidentified son and 2 which belonged to Blessing.
In the days leading up to the murder, Blessing’s son informed her that she had become too difficult to live with and he was going to place her in the care of a nursing home. This made Blessing extraordinarily angry, knowing that oftentimes those who live in nursing homes are unhappy or not taken care of as well as they’d like to be. So in response, after days of thinking and growing in her anger, Anna Mae Blessing took her two pistols, hid them as she walked into her son’s bedroom, and shot him twice before his girlfriend intervened and prevented any more use of the weapons before she herself fled the scene. Reportedly, Blessing went back to her bedroom and waited in her chair until the police arrived, where she said “You took my life, so I’m taking yours,” as they took her away. Later, however, she also said she wanted to kill herself after committing those crimes.
The fear of being sent to a nursing home certainly wasn’t the only cause for this crime, but it remains a significant factor. Anna Mae Blessing had trouble living with her son, but she truly believed that leaving him for an assisted living facility would take away her life completely. She knew how people are often treated at nursing homes, with poor living conditions and bad food sometimes being just the tip of the iceberg. There were always stories of abuse and neglect and people developing illnesses and injuries they never should have had. It’s unacceptable that Blessing felt she had reason to kill her son when around the corner lay a nursing home where her life would be taken away.