JJ, this is a fascinating and thought-provoking discussion you have started. Thanks for that!
I am just getting to know this whole sad story first hand. My mother had hip-replacement surgery as some of you know, back about 8 weeks ago. After her 3 days in the hospital, Medicare sent her on to a nursing home, as she wasn't yet ready to return home.
This was a very nice place, and part of an aging in place facility that she and her husband actually want to move to.
Even so, as I would talk to her daily, I was amazed at the treatment. Oh, nothing that she was complaining about, just stuff like they get put to bed by 9 PM because that is most convenient for the staff.
Or, the stories she told me about things like trading shower days with a friend so that she would be able to have a shower the night before she was going to see the doctor...
I of course, am so used to living life as I want to, taking for granted little things like -- eating when and what I choose, going to bed when I decide it is time, washing my hair when I decide it needs it, calling my kids whenever the desire arises, and watching TV when and where I want to, not to mention choosing the shows I will see -- I can't imagine what it would be like to lose these the opportunity to make these simple choices at will.
As you suggest JJ, I think prisoners get more choices in these matters than do persons in nursing homes.