Have you had an opportunity to visit a Senior Citizen Apartment lately? It might be called a retirement home, nursing home, Senior Living Quarters, or some other name a marketing expert has come up with. In any case, it is the same group of people who live there…senior citizens. I have made about six visits to retirement apartments in the last year. One of my mom’s best friends lives in one of these apartments and I’ve gone to visit her recently.
Today, I took my youngest daughter Julie with me to visit a friend who lives in what Julie called “a hotel for old people.” This friend of mine graduated from my alma mater albeit thirty years before I did.
Yes, this retirement living is rather fancy with cherry furniture resembling something out of Ethan Allen showroom. There’s a concierge, a bar, social room, hair salon, dining hall and 4 floors of luxurious living. It’s what retirement centers have become today.
Yet underneath the facade of beautiful furniture, it still remains that these people are basically waiting around to kick the bucket. Their daily happy hour starts at 3:30 or 4:00 pm and that is followed by dinner at 4:30. “Why so early?” Julie asked. Well, I think it’s because they get to bed early, but I don’t know for sure.
I have compassion for the men and women living in these places. In my mind, it reminds me of a prison because many of these people can’t drive any longer. Some of them are helpless. I don’t know why they are there…life’s circumstances just brought them to live there. Maybe they chose to live there and they love it…I don’t know. I just know that whenever I go to visit my elderly friends, I walk away feeling blessed to still be somewhat young and able to go visit them.
I think about the day I might be living in one of these apartments and if I’ll participate in bingo, bunko or whatever game is being played. Will I elect to go to happy hour? Probably so. Who will come visit me? What old lady hairstyle will I have?
I’ve also noticed that these visits put my mind in a place thirty or forty years from now. Will I be happy with the way I lived my life? One thought I would like to leave you with is to think about going into a retirement center and walk around and visit people. They will smile at you, talk to you, ask you questions. There is so much wisdom you can glean from just talking to people in this age group. It will make you appreciate your life and your youth. It will possibly make someone’s day!
Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.