Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Alternative Assitance

There are two assisted living communities within a five mile radius of where I live. J's daycare used to be next to one of them. Every Halloween they took the kids trick-treating to there. J's stash of candy lasted her many months. A few times during the year the "grandparents" came to over to read to the chidren. I wished they would go a step further and have the kids "adopt" a set of grandparents, bring them home to a new "family".

I've never been inside either of them but from the outside they showed no signs of life. The commuity bus stops by at the local grocery stores sometimes. Seeing these old people makes me wonder about their lives in the fortress like communities. Do they savor each moment of a superannuated life when they finally have no responsibilities or do they merely wait for death to come ?

I once knew someone who lived in Sun City West in Phoenix. Her description of the daily life of people around her was nothing short of terrifying. N would say she had get out of there or the depression would kill her before old age did. Having no means of her own, escape was not an option - her younger siblings had decided what was best for her.

Apartment living for seniors that fosters their artistic and creative talents is quite simply an amazing idea and long overdue.

The colony, Mr. Freedman said, “is a new hybrid that moves beyond that to actual creativity, to growth.” He added: “It’s not just writing memoirs and harvesting the past. It’s about producing new insights and work that is not only personally interesting but enriches the lives of neighbors.”

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