I feel like I’m suffocating as we pack our dwindling household belongings one more time.
We’ve been told by our financial adviser that without our recently rescinded meal allowance (by
corporate head-quarters), we can no longer afford to live in this independent living community.
Some couples have left; others have decided to cook in their apartments, as we have. They
obviously have a larger food budget than we do. Daily special prices in the dining room are in
the $8 to $9.50 range. If we don’t eat there, we are spending $400 to $550 on groceries.
I’ve spent many hours online researching various living situations and quickly realized all senior
living is exorbitantly expensive no matter what level of care is desired. Therefore, we are
moving into an apartment complex, back with mixed age couples and families. The amenities
which we have had, of housekeeping, night guards and everything under one roof, will have to
be put aside until our health conditions grow worse.
I’m trying to keep an open mind about the new people we will be meeting. Management of the
new complex assures us that their renters are graduate-school age or settled into careers. We ask
ourselves: Will it be refreshing to talk about something besides failing health? Will we enjoy
watching families being busy as they always are? Will we fit in with those still trying to attain
status and wealth?
It has been heartbreaking saying our goodbyes to the residents here. They graciously allow us to
know we will be missed. They longingly ask us to come back and visit or drop them a note. This
request is usually followed by a nervous giggle about how they plan to stay here, at least for a
little while longer.
So it is with mixed emotions and an intent to stay positive that we face the next adventure in our
When I was recently asked if I would ever come back into independent living, I thought for a
moment and answered that I couldn’t be sure. It can be terribly depressing as wonderful friends
are losing their health. However, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed hearing their histories and being
entertained by their simple, sweet humor.