By Ann Burnside Love
This attitude I can understand: Many people liken living in a senior living community to being on a cruise ship. Your meals are provided in a beautiful dining room, there’s an array of entertainment from concerts and shows to speakers on all sorts of subjects, and holiday celebrations, all of which — differently from a cruise — you may invite family and friends without also arranging for their travel!
On a regular basis there are card games and jigsaw puzzles, an art studio and classes, Wii games, exercise classes at all levels, hiking paths (instead of walking the deck), and a swimming pool. (Although I have yet to see a ladder and a tall, winding chute into the pool at a retirement community.)
Like a cruise ship, you can get off for bus trips to theaters, a variety of restaurants, shopping malls, sightseeing, museums and specialty and seasonal farm stores. The list —depending on the ingenuity of your activities coordinator instead of the cruise director, plus the input of your residents’ travel committee and the available variety in your location — goes on and on.
Note: The biggest difference between a cruise and senior living is that there are no natives at the end of the pier selling jewelry, belts, scarves and T-shirts!
There are advantages, of course, to living in a retirement community that beat cruises. Your accommodations are much larger and more comfortable. You don’t have luggage with which to deal. You have your own possessions handily about you. Most of the staff speak your language. (Actually, ships are better at that than they used to be.)
I guess the best thing is that you have your own friends and family nearby, to say nothing of your own barber or beautician, your own medical folks at the other end of your phone, maybe even your own massage therapist who knows your body instead of the one on the ship who only sees you once. And many of us are glad we don’t have to dress at cruise-ship level for dinner every night and the captain’s reception.
Best of all, at home in my community, I can take a writing day as I am today, or a day fully off, and spend it in my own apartment in my own pajamas with my own music, computer, newspapers and books, and either eat out of my own refrigerator and cupboards or “phone down” to the kitchen and have my meal delivered.
Think about it. “Taking your own cruise” on your own timeframe and in your own comfort. Makes sense to me!
Let’s keep the conversation going!