Banded Boomers

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For many years, my childhood friend has lived with me. She moved in after a heart attack and had many health issues since. During her “stay” both her parents passed away and now she’s lost all but an aging aunt. Just a few weeks ago, she broke her leg and had to have surgery on her ankle. She won’t be able to walk on it for months. She’s not old, just in her early 60s, but it has occurred to me how quickly life can change, especially if you’re truly alone.

Linda has me. We’ve been through lots together — marriages, divorces, births and deaths. To me she’s family and has been since we were young girls. But it’s scary to think about being without someone to help when a health crisis happens. My parents are in their 80s and they’ve always been my “go to” people. Now they have all they can do to just take care of each other.

Living with Other 60-Somethings

I’m like a lot of 60-somethings. I have three grown children and I know they’d be there if I was truly in need, but they are busy raising their children. It would almost kill me to disrupt their lives. Linda’s only son is well . . . challenged by life and lives in another state. I think we’re both quite lucky to have banded together during this aging thing. Whether it was her or me, if we were living alone and had a life-altering health crisis, we’d end up in a rehab facility to get over something like a broken leg. Now that is scary.

I am also fortunate to have my ex-husband still as a best friend. He’d do what he could for me but his health is not in the best of shape.

In this day and age of very expensive housing and just as expensive living it makes sense to not live alone. Finding someone who you can live with would be a challenge for most, but if you have good friends who also live alone they can be your best allies.

Senior Housing Options

This new aging is challenging us all but that’s a good thing. There are so many innovative life alternatives coming down the pike. Even the tiny house movement is giving older people more options. Just down the road from me in the town of Davis, they’ve began an elder community where older people can have private housing but with shared common areas. They share the cooking, the cleaning and the outdoor spaces. Together they share caregivers who can do what they cannot. There is power in numbers and the number of people becoming seniors is staggering. We all will have a lot of power to change things for the better.

In the Sacramento area, we have an organization that’s really on the ball. Their senior communities have private cottages, privately owned, but these seniors have services at their fingertips should they want or need something  — meals brought in, housekeeping, transportation, in-house nursing. There’s also an assisted living facility right on the grounds and a clubhouse with a gym, a bistro and an indoor heated pool that even people in wheelchairs can access.

New senior housing options are growing at a very impressive rate. Thank goodness there are people who dream and then do amazing things.

It reminds me of that saying, “All it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.” Okay, that’s a paraphrase but I’m sure you get my meaning. We need to help each other. Not just give to a charity but live charitably. Be open to new possibilities. We need to band together in this aging thing and take it by storm. After all, we’re the boomers. We can do anything!

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