Last night, my quartet sang at an "senior community", for some performance practice, in anticipation of a contest coming up this spring. We had a tour of the place and we were all very impressed with how nice it was. This place, like many of the newer facilities for the aging, has a variety of activities and things going on, and a lovely communal dining room. It seemed kind of like a cruise ship, with a movie theater, a computer lab, art studio and so forth.
The social director took us around and told us how expensive it was to get in there, and how, despite that, there is a waiting list. It made me think about what kinds of people would enjoy that kind of retirement.. do people want to go back to "dorm" living, with a built in community of strangers who could become friends? Wouldn't it be better if we could build our own familial groups and move in together in a shared home? But how many elders can afford to do that? Our society makes it much easier to move in with strangers than to find shared housing with those we know.