My Assisted Living Lecture

There is a dance number in the Broadway show “The Producers” which features older women using their walkers to create a faux tap dance. Today, I felt I was at an audition for that scene. There were that many women with walkers.

Erika, from Public Affairs, had asked me to speak to a group of seniors at Gardenside Terrace in Branford. These are older folks who need help or attention in their daily lives.

From the outside, it’s tough to categorize the architecture. Too many roof lines. Too little character. Inside, the facility itself was quite nice.

I spoke for around 45 minutes. It was a variant of a speech I’ve given 500 times. Truth is, you can’t speak all the time without having something like a political stump speech.

Most of the audience was attentive, but not all. A woman to my left nodded off a few times, sleeping in her seat. The first time I saw her go, I prayed it was only sleep. You never know.

After the show I met a woman who was 96 years old. She looked great. I asked her a question, and though she answered, it wasn’t really an answer to my question.

All in all, this was a good thing. These were nice people and they were desperately trying to stay active and vital. It’s a tough fight as age is a very persistent opponent – and age always wins.

4 thoughts on “My Assisted Living Lecture”

  1. It’s a history of me, of my learning how to forecast, about forecasting in general. Then I talk a little bit about Ben Franklin and Teddy Roosevelt and their importance in our daily lives.

    Hopefully it’s more interesting than it reads here!

    Geoff Fox

  2. I worked for a Retirement Community (3 levels of care…independent, assisted and nursing) for about 15 years. It was very often difficult to see people move from independence to dependence. Most of the residents were women, and several of the women to always quip to me as I walked quickly through the halls (I was 18 at the start)…”Don’t get old, honey!” The first few times this was said to me I’d reply “What are my choices….die young or get old?” They’d laugh…once I grew older and wiser, I wouldn’t reply, but just smile and say “ok”. It is a fact of life, growing older…we can only hope that we all have someone(s) to “watch over me…” as the song goes! And, I found, having worked in that environment for so many years, that, although it may be difficult to see people getting old and deteriorating, our discomfort should not cause us to deny them our company…I encourage my children to go back to the Retirement community often with me to visit…the people who live there love being around the children and young people. It keeps them young and in touch with life.

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