I have been striving to find some positive notes amidst the biggest threat to the senior population to come along in a 100 years. There is gloom and doom of course and then there is hope. I alternate between the opening scene in the movie Amadeus where Mozart is dumped in a mass grave and visions of the US going where other nations have gone in combining public private ventures to provide better options for seniors to live a healthy happy retirement. In a recent blog post, called Pandemic to Portal, the author stated the opinion that it takes massive changes to build a gateway to something better. Someone else pointed out that the last pandemic in 1918 was followed by the roaring twenties.
Why would we want to go back to normal? We are the nation that segregates our elderly population more than any other and thus we have more death in senior facilities. The gross differences in how some facilities have kept contagion at bay and others have been swamped by it, raises the need for better standards. All this talk of offering up grandpa and grandma to save the economy pulls you back into despair. Yet, we have to the appreciate the first responders and medical personnel – nurses, doctor aides one the front lines as well and those who work in these senior facilities at low wages. They make you marvel at the strength of the generousness of the human spirit as opposed to hose out there that are only thinking of themselves.
I do not know where all this is going to bring us regarding aging in place in the years ahead. I canceled an online class for the Spring and will hopefully teach it in-person on campus as before in the Fall. I had just updated my class as to more local options for downsizing and making connections etc. Reasons for making the stay at home or not just got more complicated. Will fear of exposure keep people out of facilities or make them flock there to be taken care of? Staying independent in your home just took on new meaning. But we can not let our imaginations run away from hope. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to move forward with resolve to stay resilient, bounce back and improve on ‘normal’.