03 December 2018

Where are old people going to live?

It used to be that old people lived wherever they lived – and that was that.

Foothill Acres Nursing Homes, Neshanic, New Jersey, circa 1965 - Advertising PostcardBeginning a century or so ago you could move into a retirement community for as long as you could stand it (or stand up), then would be whisked away to an old age home.

Now there are choices. So many choices you could have multiple strokes just thinking about them.

Image result for golden girlsThere’s staying put (aka aging in place) where you don’t go anywhere and you’re taken care of by people or robots. Or you can move to one of thousands of adult communities that are no different than old-fashioned retirement communities except they have internet and yoga mats. Or you can buy/rent a house/condo with a few friends and do a Golden Girls/Boys/Boys & Girls thing.  Or you can buy a motor home, drive it around for a few years until you get bored, then park it somewhere. Or you can purchase a ready-made tiny house and have a helicopter dump it in one of your children’s backyards.  

The possibilities are endless until the end.

Of course, there are social scientists galore wondering what old people are  gonna do, loads of business people trying to figure out what crazy products and services they can sell you, along with all sorts of thinkers and tinkerers hoping to convince you that you need to be digitally connected to something-or-other and be monitored 24/7 - or the rest of the world won’t know when you die.

You’ve heard the horror stories. You could be lying dead for fifteen minutes before anybody finds you.

If I get old enough to be really old, I’ll probably just want a bed, a chair on a porch, and a tree to look at.