DINK #174 Where And How Will You Live When You Get Older?

Posted on : 10-09-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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My husband and I did not fool ourselves into thinking that any child of ours (if we had, had them) would have taken care of us in our old age. We knew better.  As it goes, we’re in very good health mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually but I can’t help but wonder how and in what way we will care for ourselves in our diamond years.  We do have a group of friends who we have travelled with extensively over the last decade and who we feel comfortable inviting over at the last minute to one of our homes and just hanging out, watching a sunset, or a movie or playing games.  This weekend we spent a good amount of time with each other and I realized that if my husband and I would ever live in a commune, these are the people we would want to share a big house with. Big being the operative word.

Seems to me that I have many friends who are either childless or have independent children that they would not want to saddle themselves to and more and more of us are talking about some kind of a commune living situation.  One of my coaching clients was working on a really great idea of a place last year. I hope she will continue to flush it out and make it happen.

Coming from the kind of stock that I do, I can’t picture us ever living in a nursing home even though our commune may become somewhat like that as we all age, there will still be the grooviness factor that you wouldn’t find in the usual kind of place.  As it is now with both my parents, my mom who is in her early 70’s and step-dad live on 10 acres out in the Big Bend country quite nicely by themselves. My dad, who is in his late 70’s lives in a three-story condo in Canada and plays tennis daily, is active in many organizations and travels all over the east coast in his sporty Cadillac.  Even my parents’ generation seems to be breaking the mold for where and how you will live when you get older.

So were the sixties just the training ground for what we will create for our future?  Sans the electric Kool-Aid and orgies, at least for any commune that I will be a part of!! But sharing music, meals, ideas, creativity, fun, and continual learning along with supporting and advocating for each other as life deems it necessary makes a whole lot of good sense to me.  Course, I realize that I couldn’t just do this kind of living with anybody.  I could with these particular friends because we share common values and feel comfortable with each other for extended periods of time along with basic things like everyone pitching in to create meals and cleaning up afterwards.

We’re still fairly young to be thinking about all of this yet, but as some of my older friends age I can see the importance of preparing for one’s future while it is still a choice.  I have one friend who recently moved into assisted living at a fairly young age (63) because of her declining health and it has been a very sobering thing to witness her going in and out of the hospital with pretty much no one really there for her as an advocate to take over the reigns when she is too weak to think about what her next best choice should be.  And she has two grown sons but both have their own families and careers and lives to think about.

Where and how will you live when you get older? What ideas do you have about this?

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