Aging in Place/Elder Care/Demographics
By: Sheri de Grom
I’ve never thought, not even once, about relocating to Florida. I’ve never thought of retiring to a trailer park! But, after reading TIME, April 3, 2017, pgs 46-51, I have a new appreciation for the lifestyle.
Andrea Levere, who studies issues of financial security and class as president of the Corporation for Enterprise Development, states, “Trailer parks are the last acceptable prejudice in America.”
Growing up on the wide open plains states, I developed the attitude that I didn’t want someone breathing down my neck all the time. As soon as I left home and university behind me, what happened? I ended up in a succession of large, crowded cities and I usually lived in huge apartment complexes.
Large cities were okay as it was easy to become invisible and no one had to know me unless I wanted it that way. However, living in a large city can be a lonely place unless you work hard to build deep and lasting friendships. A career like mine that moved me often, the same as many military positions, made it doubly difficult to maintain lasting friendships when moved around like so many pieces on a game board.
I’ve read gated communities for a trailer park described for people who aren’t as wealthy.
The essence everyone faces as they age is how they want to do it. How well will we live our golden years? I believe it’s universal that we want to live as well as we can, for as long as we can, which means avoiding institutional care, nursing homes, assisted living, hospitals—as long as possible.
TIME magazine states, “the goal is what gerontologists call “aging in place,” and in a world that still holds a few happy surprises, one of the happiest is that trailer-park life turns out to be a superior way to live.” In most gated park communities, you’ll find:
- Neighbors are close and look after one another
- Asphalt paths invite strolling
- Organized games
- Pot luck dinners
- Self-improvement classes
- No stairs
- If someone is lonely, it’s because it’s self-imposed
A monumental problem for individuals facing retirement is that 1 in 3 has not saved a penny for that day that will come. According to a 2016 survey, nearly 6 in 10 have saved less than $10,000.
Ten-thousand baby boomers turn 65 every day and the prospects for millennials are even tougher.
Wall Street has caught the scent of the profitability of senior mobile-home parks.
To quote TIME magazine, “Senior Trailer Parks immediately go from being nominal clusters of transits to being communities of owners deeply invested in where they live.
After the housing market crash of 2008, when the bursting bubble reduced the value of some traditional homes by half or more, mobile homes in resident-owned parks held far more of their value, dropping by only about 30%.”
For me, the draw, if I were going to go, is the socialization leveling at work. Everyone is from somewhere and no one is from the same place.
NOTE: NOT THAT I HAVE PLANS TO MOVE!
Have you thought about where you might want to age and why? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this subject.
As always, thank you for reading with me.