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Where is Home?

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

Where are you going to live as you get older? In a commune? On your own? Carole Railton (frsa) writes about living arrangements that appeal to her as she gets older.

At long last seniors are getting some recognition. Daily, national papers in the UK are publishing articles on seniors and their new-found freedom. Every day sees the number of people over 65 increase; globally, we have more leverage and exposure than ever before. This growth sector is good news for Behavioural Shift.  The services we offer will make life easier for individuals and companies. One of the most important factors, especially with Covid-19, is how and where we live. What can and can’t we do in our homes and local areas?  The answer depends on whether we have lockdowns and the extent of them. 

In London in November 2020, we are in full lockdown. It’s planned to end just before Christmas, although the word on the street is it will go on a lot longer. Our government is promising furlough until the end of March. Housing has become a hot topic among seniors. Kids may have left home; we may be single again and we are looking for a new way of life to make the most of the time we believe we have left.

Covid-19 has made us awareness of how lonely it can be to be single and confined to our home. “Old Age Homes” really don’t cater for most of us; playing bingo and having your food cooked for you can mean you lose your independence. We may have strived, especially women, all our lives to become independent, so we certainly don’t won’t to lose it. And, if, like me, you have been single for sometime, it is not an attractive prospect at all.  I am interested in communicating with people who are used to discussing and learning things from people with an opposing view as well as exploring what nature and the world has to offer. Travelling to far-away places that I have never been to before; experiencing culture- the arts and the variance of all this- make my life fulfilling and active.

When I reached 60, I was partying with a group of women the same age and we decided that we would all live together when we were 70, to save us from entering a seniors’ care home. This group of six have now dissipated. One moved to Liverpool with her husband, whom she had expected to die; another to the countryside in Norfolk where she is now self-sufficient. Unfortunately, another has died, and the other two no longer want to invest in a group property, preferring to stay where they are. We saw ourselves in a manor with large grounds, separate rooms for each of us, a communal lounge and cooking area, a library, a swimming pool, tennis courts and communal cars and bikes. I am looking to find an alternative, now this is not happening.

How is the dilemma of where and how to live solved when you are over 60 and are still fit and want to experience more? Younger folk tell me I am a bit of a hippie because I am still experimental. The reality is I am a baby-boomer who does not fit into the old stereotype of someone in their ‘70s, nor do I want to. It is important that society looks at and promotes people like me. This is the way forward in the third age. Like many people, I feel wise and knowledgeable, and as someone who reached the top tier of my career, I am able to think of different solutions to common problems. For example, this week I have ordered a new desk top computer from Apple, a pen for my iPad, (A pen and not the ipad itself?) and a new iPhone. Since I have worked with technology my whole life, I am an “early adopter”; I love technology.  (You may have seen my blogs on artificial intelligence (AI) here on this site).  I started my career working for IBM and continued in technology and recruitment companies until I left corporate life and started my own businesses. My brain still works extremely well, I am fit, go to the gym, walk loads, eat reasonably well and generally enjoy life. I am seeking others with the same mind set to form associations with, and perhaps even live with in some sort of commune. 

I definitely don’t want to rough it with toilets outside in the middle of nowhere. I do want people who like the outdoors. In any property, there would have to be a lovely garden for growing fresh food and flowers. I would like to live with people who would want to accompany me on my travels, or me on theirs, so we could broaden our horizons even more. Are you one of these people, are you looking to make the most of the rest of your life? It would be great to hear from you and perhaps we could look at having little pods of this lifestyle around the world? A friend started a company “The Thinking Hotel”- a venue where people can go to create different situations and solve problems. 

Maybe it’s time that a group of people created pods all over the world. Maybe that is us. What do you think? We could have art classes, reading classes, education sessions, exploration days, pool cars and bikes, swimming in our own swimming pool, gym lessons at our own gym- and create a satisfying life style. And, in my case, there would definitely have to be no bingo.

Photo by Carole Railton (copyright). A house on the Essex coast.

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