By Steve Moran
I am a boomer, right in the middle of the age cohort. I am “that person” you as a senior living operator are trying to figure out what I want, what I will need, what I will consume when I hit age 80-something.
Here is the problem: I have no idea what I am going to want when I hit my 80s. A big part of it will be how healthy I am, how healthy I feel. You ask me now what I will want, and I will tell you that …
- I am going to still want to go on bike rides.
- I am going to want to wander the streets of Turkey, Greece, and Italy.
- I will want to go on hikes.
- I will still want to read leadership books and write about leadership things.
- I will still want to teach kids at my church.
I am writing this on an airplane on the way home from Senior Living 100 in Naples, Florida, where there were several options for afternoon recreation. I picked a bike ride around Old Naples, where, over the course of three hours, we rode 8 to 10 miles. At age 68, I still have 10, maybe 15 years where I can still do something like that, but I am starting to see that a day will come that it simply will not be possible. A time will come that I will not really be able to do any of those things on my list.
Right now I simply don’t have a good idea as to what I will replace it with.
I sit in my above ground hot tub several evenings a week. There will come a time when getting in and out will be too hard and too dangerous.
What I Don’t Want
I think I have a better handle on what I don’t want. I look at my mom’s husband, who lives with us and will turn 90 in a few weeks, and while he was once very active, playing lots of golf and tennis, he sits and watches old movies and rails about politics to a dwindling number of old friends. I am pretty sure I don’t want that for my late 80s and 90s.
I am also sure I don’t want my long-time friend Lance’s existence, who had a stroke 11 years ago that fried his brain while leaving his body in good health. He couldn’t read, didn’t seem to comprehend conversation or movies, and needed constant companionship until he passed away a few weeks ago.
We Have No Idea
There is a big part of me that believes that when I get to the point of “needing” senior living, my physical limitations and physical safety will be such a big part of my life that I actually may want more or less the same things that residents of today want.
The only way we can figure this out is to ask our “today residents” how life is going in senior living and what would make it better — what would give them a better, bigger, more meaningful life. They are the only ones who really know.
I do suspect that when I get there I will know, or at least have a better idea.