Late last month, my roommate fell down the stairs leading to his rooms and had to be moved to a “senior residence” by his children. I promised to visit, and on Saturday I brought him his mail at his new home. As I checked in at the desk and walked down the peachy-beige, bland hallways, I realized that this was not at all the first of my friends that I have visited at a senior residence. I don’t mean older friends. I’m talking contemporaries.
I used to work with “Older Adults” for a living. The bland hallways bravely personalized at each doorway with a picture of a kitten, an orchid plant, a basket of artificial flowers, is very familiar to me. I would visit elders, assess their needs, make recommendations. But these are my friends! People my age.
My former roommate is a bit older than I. It was such a jolt that he suddenly had to leave the house. It would seem appropriate if I were navigating these halls for the first time. However, several friends have preceded him; whether due to financial necessity, illness, or simply good judgement.
I was once a “specialist” on aging. I always knew my turn would come, but it looks very different when it’s staring you in the face. Of course, I’m not all that old, and anyone my age or older would want me to point out that they are not that old, either. I was born in 1946, the first baby boomer year. Many come after me, and it is for you boomers-in-passage that I am writing this blog. The rubber will hit the road for you at some point, and I have this wonderful, excruciating combination of knowledge and experience to share. With you.