Sunday, March 28, 2010

Retirement Homes & Spring



I had the opportunity to shop with three generations of women this last week. My takeaway - it doesn't matter how old you are, women like to have something that makes them feel pretty. It's spring, and I'm finally digging out of the snow here at Lake Tahoe. My thoughts have turned to flowers, tree buds, birds, and lighter clothing. A trip to the tropics is on our radar and my daughters have also planned vacations. One is going to Thailand, which included a stop at the Travel Clinic, the other to Costa Rica, which doesn't require much more than what she already has, plus a bathing suit. My MIL, who is 97, also needed a few things, however, so my trip to Portland required some time at the mall.

It's nice to know that at 97 you can still care about how you look. She lives in a retirement home that has a certain decorum. They all have apartments, but take their meals in a centralized location that just recently decided ties were a bit excessive for dinner. But forget about shorts, that requires special dispensation. They do not want you out in the hallways in your bathrobe and slippers with curlers in your hair. The expectation is that when you leave your apartment, you are nicely dressed with hair at least combed. There is a beauty parlor in residence, and a small sandwich shop for guests. Most of the people who live there are from a more formal generation. They follow the rules and like structure in their lives.

So I started thinking what the retirement homes will look like for my generation. I really don't think ties will be something even on our radar. We Boomers are not very formal. I hope I don't get kicked out for trying to slip out and grab my laundry in the localized laundry room in my slippers. It would be just like me to test the rules. Not to mention my slippers are rather ubiquitous. In fact it's just like my generation to try and test the rules.

It may be a messy group of resisters in our retirement homes. Chaos in the hallways, calls to our children ...

38 comments:

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

97! Good for her! Retirement homes for us will look like communes, Nancy.

ellen abbott said...

I wanna go there where that picture is!

Joanne said...

I was going to say what Trish said ... They won't be retirement homes, they'll be retirement communes, the 1960s revisited ;)

Nancy said...

Communes! Yes!

Star said...

They're a fine looking pair of hippies in the sunshine. The colours are gorgeous and doesn't she look pretty.
Life is what you make of it!
Blessings, Star

Amy said...

Whoa, Nancy - is that what we'll look like? I'm with you re the slippers - I live in mine! I admire your MIL - it sounds like she lives in a really nice place.

Happy to hear you're finally digging out of the white stuff. Where in the tropics are you traveling to?

Pam said...

Please tell me that man has pants on.

DJan said...

Yes, that picture is very familiar to me for some reason. It's a place I think I might have been already. And since I am not likely to make it to 97 (nobody in my family ever has yet), I'm not gonna worry too much about the dress code! Yet, anyway.

Kathy G said...

I suspect the Boomers will change a LOT of things as they go through every life stage.

Nancy said...

I agree we will change things. Most of us chafe against rules...

Amy - We're going to Hawaii - a friend of a friend has a condo there, and they are most generous! :-)

Pam - LOL! I thought the same thing!

Nancy said...

I do think they look great. I can see myself with that dress...

Hilary said...

Communes it is. That's more our speed and slippers? I'd rather go barefoot, thank you. :)

Erika C. said...

I think about this a lot. I used to work with the elderly in another life (as an art therapist, but I was called art specialist.) Our music specialist was Dominic Chianese. He serenaded the elderly, mostly Italian and Irish elderly ladies with "Johnny boy" and "Volare!" He used to tell us that he had been in the Godfather movies and that he and Al Pacino were "like this." (you know what I mean with the fingers wrapped together, really close) and we would say "yeah, right, Dominic!" I was so amazed to see him one day on The Sopranos!

Anyway, but I used to wonder what music would be played in nursing or retirement homes in our future. It is a funny picture of old people in rocking horses on a porch listening to the Rolling Stones or who knows what!

love,
Erika

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

Too cute! Love the picture. They look like they're having fun.

I think the retirement community of my dreams will be a bit more relaxed than "ties" and I'm sure my sweats and mens oversized T-shirts would be A-OK. LOL!

luksky said...

Are you sure that pic wasn't taken in Austin, Texas??? It sure does look like some folks I've seen around here. :-)

lakeviewer said...

Food for thought here!

Von said...

Whow, then we can relive the 60's and 70's!

ρομπερτ said...

A truely impressive entry of yours.
Overe here in Greece, families tend to take care of their parents until the very end, many times with help though; as many retirement homes have a rather bad history&fame, that every now and than comes to light.
An entry which for sure will follow me throughout the next days.
Wishing you all a wonderful start into the new week.

Natalie said...

I already have my Rainbow dress packed away! I'll meet you in the Laundry with my sparkly dragonfly slippers on. :D

The Good Cook said...

Nancy - oh please, please make me a reservation at your retirement home and I'll do the same at mine for you!

My nanny (my grandmother) was 94 when she passed. The women in my family were all with her in her final hours. One of the last things she asked for was to be dressed in her favorite pink cardigan and my sisters and I applied her makeup! Yes, she wanted rouge, powder and lipstick. Bless her. She went well.

We should all be so vain in our old age.

gayle said...

Oh I so can't wait!!

Kay said...

I think it fabulous that you have so many generations to reflect on... and you, being the age to both witness the youth and aged... a beautiful cycle. And oh-so-true, doesn't every woman just want to feel special? :) Love the photo on here, too!

susan said...

It might actually be kind of interesting that considering the way things are going many of our children and grandchildren may be sharing those retirement homes with us. It sounds like fun to me.

ds said...

Great photo! Tee hee! I. Refuse. To. Go. Into. A. Retirement. Home.
(fortunately have a little time until that becomes an issue)

Eternally Distracted said...

My Mum used to look after oldies that lived in sheltered housing... I swear to god they were raunchy old buggers. The amount of times she caught them in each others beds was unbelievable... there is hope for us all yet!

leilani said...

Tents on the beach sounds good.. but wheelchairs are a mess in the sand! LOLOL! this is a great post Nancy! The picture is wonderful!

Deborah said...

What a fabulous photo! Just imagine a Home for Ageing Hippies...I'm not sure it would be funny.

I have limited experience with retirement homes, admittedly, but hadn't heard of one with such formal dress rules. Sure as heck wouldn't work for our generation, as you say. I suspect it's not just the generation, but the social class who is comfortable with such formality.

And for our kids' generation? Might there be an outside area for pot-smoking??

Mental P Mama said...

LOL...I can just picture all of us 'rebels' in there causing problems. And I think I would love your MIL!

A Year on the Grill said...

Now that Obama care has passed, the democratic death panels will take care of us long before 97...

Now where is that tongue in cheek font???

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I'd fit in better in a commune.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, you are too, too funny...Love this!!! Yes, your post reminds me of Jenny Joseph's poem, "Warning." She writes, "When I grow old, I shall wear purple with a red hat..." How wonderful that your 97 yr old MIL is so active...and sounds like she lives in a wonderful retirement home! Terrific post! ~Janine XO

Boomka said...

HA! I gotta say if you are looking for something that will make you look or feel good, a man with no pants on has got to be it. We rarely look decent naked. Horribly creatures we are really. Amazing women continue to talk to us.

Reya Mellicker said...

Sweet! What a great springtime story. May we all persevere to 97!!

Marguerite said...

I'm all for the Hippie Retirement Commune! We "Boomers" have always been rebels, so why stop then? So glad to hear that your MIL is doing well! Happy Spring!

Cara said...

Wow! 97? Only few people can reach that age. That's so amazing! My grandama is now staying in one of the retirement communities, Pennsylvania-based. You know, grandma is now 90. I hope she also reaches 97 or even 100, because I want to spend much more time with her. Most retirement communities (PA) have skilled nurses. So, I don't worry much about the needs of my grandmother. She's still strong, and could play memory cards with my children.

guenette said...

Wow, Granny is still kicking and active. Good to see my Grandma with this age of 97. More retirement benefits for you Granny.

Come and visit... Retirement Community Long Island

guenette said...

Wow, Granny is still kicking and active. Good to see my Grandma with this age of 97. More retirement benefits for you Granny.

Come and visit... Retirement Community Long Island

Michelle Anne Rufino said...

No matter how old or young we are, we really need to have fun and continuously enjoy our lives. If I am going to choose a community, I will pick new york retirement community because of the amenities and it is located near establishments where I can go shop or have a massage.