I often hear it said that living in a neighborhood that’s restricted to ages 55+ is bad.
Bad as in:
I suppose it can be, if you close yourself off and never mingle with other age groups. But as a private, introverted person this is exactly the kind of community I want to grow old in.
The other day, my mother, who also lives here, told a sick friend: “Unlock your door. I’m coming over.” And then Mom got her cane and walked down the street to sit with the friend, who was afraid to be alone but didn’t want to bother anybody. Mom and a couple of other women took turns staying with her. The next day, the friend felt better, her children returned from a vacation and checked on her, and things resolved themselves.
Community. It derives from the French, meaning “things held in common.” What we hold in common here is a short-timer’s heightened appreciation for health and life, and a retiree’s luxury of time which we can use to support and nurture other humans. Most of us engage in the life of the city and surrounds. We volunteer, attend, eat, buy, watch, applaud, raise money, show support, and shower love. I’m particularly proud of our partnership with the Marine families of 29 Palms, California, and the military veterans at March Air Reserve Base in Moreno Valley, California.
As we age, some of us have chosen to live closer together. Communal forms of housing are a big deal these days, and it’s not just for older people, but that’s who reinvented it. The pig-in-the-python swell of aging boomers is changing the culture once again.
People need each other. If I get tired of working or hiding out, I can easily get social. All I have to do is attend a meeting or go read a book on the patio at the clubhouse. Soon enough, my spirits will be lifted by a friendly wave, or warm conversation. If I go for a walk or a bike ride, or work out at the gym, I see people all around who are my age or older and enjoying the opportunity to maintain their health. They inspire me.
Not that this couldn’t happen in a more heterogeneous community, but I’ve never been happier anywhere else. If you’re so inclined, I recommend checking out the benefits of a 55+ community. Just remember to stay engaged outside the gates.