This is a discussion on a friend's blog, that I'm extending to mine.
The mother of this blogger has a plan. A self-sufficient community for like-minded elderly people. She's going to build one-bedroom cottages on her property in Kerala and these will be "bought" by the person/people living there until their death, after which it will revert to the Trust and be available for a new occupant. There will be a library, a restaurant, household help, transport, guest rooms, others of the same mind since there is to be a careful screening process. It sounds great. It is a great idea, but considering the profile of the target audience I wonder a bit.
For thinking, doing, healthy people, wouldn't a closed-in community like this be claustrophobic? I've noticed that the elderly members of my family never feel so elderly as when they are closeted for too long with people who think of themselves as old. At other times they have to be reminded at four in the morning that they haven't been twenty-five for many years now, so put the party hat down.
My parents, for example, enjoy having neighbours of different persuasions, interacting with all kinds of people. The same goes for friends' parents, my aunts and uncles. They don't consider themselves too old to contribute to society, and they're not. (The blogger's mother with her business idea is also a shining example of this.) They have active social calendars with friends who are years younger. They have a wide range of interests. In short, they like being in the thick of it. Sixty is the new forty and all that.
I have conversations, share pleasures with my older family members, not just duty chats. And when I review the very long list of them – well, while I can see them enjoying the idea of a community like this, I can't see them living there successfully. On the other hand, what do I know? I'm thirty-five, I have some way to go yet. Perhaps all these people I've listed feel differently.
Me, I would say use the money to buy the yacht and let the fogies live in a cupboard under the stairs*.
*They'll probably have noisy parties there but if you're nice to them and bring a bottle, maybe they'll let you in.
- ► 2011 (32)
- ► 2010 (32)
- ► 2009 (50)
- ▼ June (9)
- ► 2007 (48)