[Editor’s note: read to the bottom to find out how you can win a free autographed copy of Tribes of Eden]
One of the biggest challenges for the aging services industry is that what appeals to one generation does not necessarily appeal to the next. Take large CCRC’s (Continuous Care Retirement Communities) or state-of-the-art assisted living communities. These business models — often sprawling over large campuses and offering every kind of amenity you can imagine — saw a major boom and growth over the past two decades.
They catered very specifically to the needs and desires of a specific generation — the “Greatest Generation” or “Senior Citizen” generation (note senior citizen refers to a generation, not an age group! Don’t expect the next generation to be called by their parents moniker!). This is the generation that flocked to sunbelt retirement communities and then later to gold-plated assisted living communities.
But guess what. The “Queen Mary” cruise ship retirement lifestyle does not appeal to everyone. Consider this comment posted today on Ronni Bennett’s blog www.TimeGoesBy.net by reader “Doctafill”:
Our friend invited us to lunch at his cruise ship, everything done for you, assisted living retirement home.
For seven grand a month, he and his wife are treated like toddlers.
We truly believe he is too young to be in there, but he said he was tired of keeping his two story home, and his wife who has some medical issues needed protection and care.
The place, call it “The Bore,” is huge, lovely views, anything you want to do, like bowling, swimming, painting, there is a room for it.
(But nobody was in any of those activity rooms.)
So as we walked the long halls, workers, I guess they’re called, would say “hello Mister or Miss so and so, how are you today?”
The way they said that reminded me of a kindergarten teacher patting a kid on the head. “Now Johnny, we don’t whiz in the cloakroom.”
Anyway, even though the place is built like the Queen Mary, all the trimmings, all the attention a person may think he or she needs,
I felt like food in the mouth of a praying mantis.
“Get me out of here. This isn’t for me.”
As our friend led me along, pointing out the dining room, the personal chefs, I saw people eating alone, sitting, staring at their plates as if they didn’t know what it was.
I felt as if the moment a foot entered that building, all motivation, hope, purpose, left their body.
Handing over one’s life to a cruise ship may suit a certain portion of society, but it’s not for me.
I’d have to be hog tied and knocked out first.
So, we’re still walking and my pal is extolling the virtues of living inside this manufacture palace, when he asks if I have any questions.
“Is there anyone living here against their will?”
He didn’t expect that question.
“Well, there is one woman who we would all love to see booted out.”
“Why is that?”
“Whenever anyone passes her in the hall, says hello, she responds rudely.”
“What does she say?”
“Good for her!”
Word to the wise — this ain’t your daddy’s generation heading into retirement.
READ the full post at TimeGoesBy to find out how to win a free autographed copy of Tribes of Eden by William H. Thomas.