This Baby Boomer generation of ours has, I believe, advantages and disadvantages. We have the strength and determination to believe we can enter our old age with more vim and vigour than our parents. And sometimes we believe that determination will make us untouchable. How could those glorious young hippies and activists we were ever become old and infirm?
And yet some of us have already become carers for our parents or seen friends in this situation. Often, we’ve seen one parent (statistically the woman) outlive their mate by many years. We’ve seen poverty and we’ve seen dementia. It brings home to us some of the negative possibilities of old age.
We know what to do to stay or get as fit as possible as we age, and to have a good life. It’s not rocket science: eat delicious healthy food in moderate amounts, have an active mind and body, invite people into your life that you love, get involved in things you care about, be interested in everything, enjoy yourself.
We live in a time where medical care can often help us (although not at the expense of being kept alive past the point at which we would wish it – this can be a double-edged sword).
Our sheer numbers mean we have political and financial (some of us) clout that previous generations simply didn’t have.
So what happens next?
I don’t know about you, but the notion of being in a residential home where bored, underpaid carers tell me what to eat and when, have me playing bingo and put me to bed at night doesn’t bear thinking about. I actually hope to live in my own home until I leave feet first, but if I become infirm, that might not be possible.
I heard the other day about a “women-only seniors home that the women would run themselves” in France. That sounds like a possibility. Apparently there are other models springing up, although a cursory Google found only improved design. But… do I want to live only with people my own age, no matter how positive the arrangements?
I’m not sure, but in my 60th year, this is something I need to begin thinking about.
What about you?
Have you any thoughts or plans about how and where you’d like to live when you’re older, or are you sticking your head firmly in the sand? Isn’t it up to us to figure out where we go from here? Please share in the comments – let’s pool our ideas.
Photograph above by Adam Price