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Old 05-03-2015, 06:40 AM
 
4,353 posts, read 6,073,215 times
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Yesterday we attended a Kentucky Derby party hosted by a friend who lives in the next town. It's an annual event and she invites all her neighbors. We are token guests because we've known each other since childhood. Other neighbors will host the Preakness and the Belmont. The house was filled with friendly people of all ages. A much older man in a wheelchair apparently wheeled himself over and every gentleman in the place helped to heave him up the stairs and into the party. A tray was placed in front of him and food and drink were brought. At one point he tried to stand so as to stretch and two men assisted him. Before he became wheelchair bound, my friend occasionally took him out to early dinner. It was heartwarming to watch the display of humanity. I live in a 55-plus, and so long as you can walk to activities you're good otherwise you're expected to hire the right people to take care of your needs. If you can't 'play' you're quickly forgotten.

I know I've simplified what I witnessed. I know he probably has a slew of visiting forces that keep him alive. But he was at a party! And with friends! Sometimes I think frailties in our own age group scare us because it's like looking in a mirror and it's younger people who are the ones to reach out. I saw a lot of love yesterday. Those few streets were family and age was irrelevant.
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Old 05-03-2015, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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^^^^^^^^^ Interesting observation. Over the years there have been many discussions about the advantages and disadvantages of living in age-restricted communities. Some posters have written that they simply prefer the atmosphere and setting of a range of ages. I share that preference even as I recognize the advantages of age-restricted communities such as security, peace and quiet, and many activities within walking distance.

Your observation and your comments on it are a part of that on-going discussion, and are doubly interesting because you yourself live in a 55+.
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Old 05-03-2015, 07:43 AM
 
Location: delaware
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eighteen years ago, my uncle and aunt, in their mid eighties, moved into a ccrc, in an independent unit. they admittedly had come to the conclusion they had waited too long, as , by the time they moved, my aunt was in the early stages of dementia. however, both were very social people, educated, well traveled, and my uncle felt he could act as "caregiver" for his wife, and ,thus, enable them to live in the independent, rather than assisted living units, where he knew there would be more impaired residents.

of course, my aunt, with the changes in routine and residence, began to deteriorate more rapidly. because of her condition, my uncle found it difficult to make new friends, and to participate in some of the activities, they once had enjoyed. i know he felt isolated there, something i don't think he had anticipated. this was demonstrated most clearly one evening , as they were sitting in the lounge, waiting for dinner. my aunt had an "accident", urinating on the chair where she sat, and , when she got up, of course this became very apparent. well, several residents who were in the lounge at the time became very upset, complained about "inappropriate" people eating in the dining room for independent residents, and although i know my uncle handled it as quickly and discreetly as possible, i don't think he ever felt quite comfortable eating in that dining room again. my aunt deteriorated quickly, and about a year after they had moved in, in-home caregivers had to be hired for part of each day. needless to say, my uncle never made the friendships and connections that i know he would have made, if my aunt had not been in the impaired state that she was.

i didn't intend this to be such a long post, but i am writing it to affirm the OP's commentary that the elderly do not want to see the future. such a view is painful and my experience, personally and professionally, has been that they will do whatever they can- isolate, distance, ignore- to keep that view at bay.

catsy girl
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:22 AM
 
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Quote:
i didn't intend this to be such a long post, but i am writing it to affirm the OP's commentary that the elderly do not want to see the future. such a view is painful and my experience, personally and professionally, has been that they will do whatever they can- isolate, distance, ignore- to keep that view at bay.

catsy girl

I've seen the same thing, although at the time I didn't understand what I was witnessing. One day I received a call from my FIL. He was age 70 and he said that he could no longer live on his own. We had long conversations over several weeks. I spoke with his doctors. My FIL eventually decided that he wanted to move to an assisted living facility. We did the research and found several very lovely places, that had great ratings, were clean, and had a good patient/staff ratio. I even pushed myself out of my shell to chat with the people who lived there and my FIL and I kept hearing happy reviews. He decided this would be his new home.

Two months later he moved out. He said that it was depressing. He said that the ambulance was there daily.

He moved himself into an apartment that had a lot of families. Here he was isolated because the families had nothing in common with him or any interest in him and not one of them had the spare time to invest in him. I had to hire a slew of staff for him... health-care aids, maid, someone to cook for him and chauffeur him around.

To this day I think he would have had a better life in the assisted living home. I saw people having fun, using the art, card and exercise rooms, sitting on benches in the sunshine, walking the manicured trails; but he saw ambulances, infirmity, death.
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Old 05-03-2015, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LookingatFL View Post
I've seen the same thing, although at the time I didn't understand what I was witnessing. One day I received a call from my FIL. He was age 70 and he said that he could no longer live on his own. We had long conversations over several weeks. I spoke with his doctors. My FIL eventually decided that he wanted to move to an assisted living facility. We did the research and found several very lovely places, that had great ratings, were clean, and had a good patient/staff ratio. I even pushed myself out of my shell to chat with the people who lived there and my FIL and I kept hearing happy reviews. He decided this would be his new home.

Two months later he moved out. He said that it was depressing. He said that the ambulance was there daily.

He moved himself into an apartment that had a lot of families. Here he was isolated because the families had nothing in common with him or any interest in him and not one of them had the spare time to invest in him. I had to hire a slew of staff for him... health-care aids, maid, someone to cook for him and chauffeur him around.

To this day I think he would have had a better life in the assisted living home. I saw people having fun, using the art, card and exercise rooms, sitting on benches in the sunshine, walking the manicured trails; but he saw ambulances, infirmity, death.
Your FIL must have had some unusual medical condition. I don't think I've ever heard (in my personal experience) of someone that young who could no longer live on his own. I'm searching my memory of relatives, co-workers, neighbors, etc. and not coming up with one.

Your final paragraph is perceptive and astute; we can be looking at the same situation but "seeing" different aspects of it.
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:26 AM
 
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Thank you Escort Rider. He was a very unhealthy person both physically and mentally. In the end he took his life and though I mourned, I also felt his pain was over.
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:38 AM
 
950 posts, read 717,225 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LookingatFL View Post
I've seen the same thing, although at the time I didn't understand what I was witnessing. One day I received a call from my FIL. He was age 70 and he said that he could no longer live on his own. We had long conversations over several weeks. I spoke with his doctors. My FIL eventually decided that he wanted to move to an assisted living facility. We did the research and found several very lovely places, that had great ratings, were clean, and had a good patient/staff ratio. I even pushed myself out of my shell to chat with the people who lived there and my FIL and I kept hearing happy reviews. He decided this would be his new home.

Two months later he moved out. He said that it was depressing. He said that the ambulance was there daily.

He moved himself into an apartment that had a lot of families. Here he was isolated because the families had nothing in common with him or any interest in him and not one of them had the spare time to invest in him. I had to hire a slew of staff for him... health-care aids, maid, someone to cook for him and chauffeur him around.

To this day I think he would have had a better life in the assisted living home. I saw people having fun, using the art, card and exercise rooms, sitting on benches in the sunshine, walking the manicured trails; but he saw ambulances, infirmity, death.

3rd paragraph..........." not one of them had the spare time to invest in him "

Yes, I have read many retirement magazines that covered the 55+ vs neighborhood living. In one article ,the author said many retirees move into a mixed area and presume that area with kids is receptive to older outsiders. They maybe are, but with 2 parents working and numerous activities their kids are involved in, will they have the time for a retired outsider?

The author then asked if those retired folk , when they were young and had kids in school, did they reach out to become friends with retirees who moved in.

He said most times the answer was............"no, we were too busy with our kids and our parents to spend much time with older people who moved in"

You can't expect back from younger neighbors what you did not give when you were younger.
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Old 05-03-2015, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,833 posts, read 4,871,492 times
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I live in a neighborhood, that while it is MOSTLY retirees, is not age restricted. We are among the younger residents at 56 and 60. I don't see this sort of thing at all here. In fact, quite the contrary. I live on a cul-de-sac of 8 houses. In the last year we have had 2 neighbors have recurrences of their cancers and in both cases we all stepped up as a community of neighbors to help out with meals, shopping, transportation , etc. When someone is in need of assistance, people here really step up. Many people here will ask for help for others, knowing that those people are too shy to ask for it themselves. I have seen transportation groups organized to help those needing to go to the hospital for daily treatments. I think because we all know "There but for the grace of G*d.... go I", that we are willing and, since we are retired, we have the time to help.

On the other hand, we recently moved my 88 year old MIL to an ALF nearby. When she first moved in she was upset that we had moved her to a place with people who were all "so old". She said that she didn't fit in with these people who mostly had health problems and some level of disability (duh, it's assisted living!). I'm happy to say that now, 2 months later, she is happy and feels that she fits in just fine. I think it was a shock to her to see others as we see her, someone with issues that need assistance.
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Old 05-03-2015, 02:41 PM
 
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The 55+ community I live in has quite a lot of neighbors who take care of their older neighbors who may need assistance and they are included in ALL the community events.

Maybe it is because about 75% of the community consists of Midwesterners. Or maybe because the place is more moderate income. I don't know.
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Old 05-05-2015, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,734 posts, read 17,677,734 times
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I've heard of bad things coming out of the Villages in FL where ambulances come in as "plain vehicles," as to not alarm the residents of the frequent medical needs of the community.
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