Let's Design a Geezer Tribe Home

Without meaning to, I must watch a lot of television programs favored by old folks. I know this because all, or most of the commercials are aimed right at people over the age of 70. You know these pitches too. They want us to buy their stuff and they won't ever give up. Because we are Baby Boomers, they won't miss us when we die because they'll be another one to take our place for many years to come. Who knew that WWII could have caused a population boom?

I have been paying particular attention to all advertisements aimed at continuing to live at home. That would be everything from protected gutters for the outside to stair elevators on the inside. Also included here are those bathtubs you can walk in to and exercise pools that can be installed in just two days. I'm planning on getting one as soon as I win the lottery. There are also examples of professional caregivers who come into your home and help with essentials. I like that idea a lot.

Oh yes, security is a big issue too. We're supposed to have cameras all around our homes to keep us safe and I can't underestimate the importance of the button that you wear around your neck in case you fall. I'm kind of kidding about the expensive security system but certainly not about that button. Falls are the number one tragedy for senior citizens and that means US. If you fall you need help immediately and that good old button hanging on a chain around your neck might just save your life.

Want to know what the biggest problem is with the button? We are. Some of us believe that the moment we put on a chain with a help button, we've given up. I would take issue with this. I'd say you go to the head of the class for this maneuver. This tiny button is not an admission of frailty. It doesn't mean you've given up on life. It does mean that you plan to live some more years and you'd like to make sure an accident doesn't change your plans.

My grandmother lived in a very nice retirement community and because there were three help buttons strategically placed in her apartment she opted out of wearing one on her person. This is the primary reason she laid on a cold floor with a broken knee for several hours before a neighbor heard her cries for help. This is one of those situations where being from strong-willed stock does not make me happy. Keep your strength. I'm going for the button.

Now to those retirement homes we talked of earlier. They just seem to get more and more elaborate. This equates to more services and services cost money and most of us don't have enough of to live the life shown in their ads. I see that some of these communities have gardens and activity rooms, pools and small golf courses. They offer exercise facilities, classes to enrich your life and so much more.

Remember when you heard the phrase, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Please understand that I would be happy if every senior citizen in this country was taken care of in this way but they aren't and won't be. This is not the fault of any person or organization in particular. It's what we call reality. We're on our own in this plan to get old and stay independent but things will change.

My dream Geezer Tribe Home would be a place where we each had our own room with our own TV, recliners and bed. We'd need a space for gathering because old people have a lot of words and need to use them daily. The space for men would have to be bigger because they have more stories to tell and they truly need to share those with each other. We would have to have a few kitchens to accommodate the cooks. This would include a Man Kitchen. This would likely be the toughest part. Nobody likes a picky chef but I have a hunch that all of us are one of these. When it came time to eat, all parties involved would be on their own. Some would be together and some not.

Many of us would retreat to our space. Some of us are kind of like cats in that way. We like to nest and that is our strength. We read, journal, watch television and keep up with the world in all the ways we can. That's one area where our Geezer Tribe Home would excel. We would have a full-time computer and phone expert who gently taught us how to be better at keeping in touch with the world. This would help us to feel more competent.

Finally, we'd have to volunteer. Why? Because all of us will need help at some point in the years we have left. No one is better at helping than a friend. Tell me about your imagined home... I want to know more. In the meantime, take care and enjoy each day to the fullest.

P.S. Please add a garden to our Geezer Tribe Home. :)

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