43-year-old and his 6-year-old son move to a retirement community
Eldercare advocate continues his series of immersion projects to inspire a creative viewpoint on “aging” related topics.
In February, 43-year-old Steve Gurney experienced firsthand what it is like to move into a senior living option by taking up temporary residence at an independent and assisted living community. Building on the perspective he gained from his first immersion experience, Gurney is now preparing to make another move to a different community. This time, however, his 6-year-old son, Asa, will be joining him. On August 19th, the duo will take up temporary residence at The Residences of Thomas Circle, a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) located in the heart of downtown Washington, D.C.
While Gurney has been regarded as an expert in the field of senior housing and eldercare, he came to the realization that he had not experienced the transition that he has advised thousands of people to take in his 20-year career. He states, “This has been the most enlightening and thought-provoking experience that I have been engaged in throughout my career. I am at amazed at the perspective I have gained, and how much it has reinvigorated my passion for innovative solutions.”
A 6-year-old in a retirement community?
Gurney shares the inspiration for the unique idea of his young son joining him, “In my first immersion experience, I was immediately struck with the benefits of having a younger person living in an environment that is largely segmented by age. When I shared the idea of having my family join me on one of my next moves, many of the residents of the community thought it was a wonderful idea.”
Gurney sees a huge potential benefit to single parents living in an environment like this. “Because this is a short-term move, I realized the logistics of having both of my kids and my wife with me might compromise the focus of my immersion project. Having been raised in a single-parent household, I can see tremendous opportunities for parent, child and elders.”
Exploring an urban retirement
In his first immersion, Gurney also learned just how dependent he is on the automobile living in a suburban neighborhood. “I came to the realization that without a car, I would be completely disconnected from my purposes in life, no matter my age.” This revelation prompted Gurney to see the benefits of an urban or walk-able location at any age which he will gain with the move to the retirement community located in downtown Washington, DC.
“By inserting myself into this age-segmented environment, I hope that I am getting people to realize that everyone is aging, not just those with AARP cards,” says Gurney.
Gurney has been documenting his experiences through a blog at www.everyoneisaging.com that has served as a vehicle for discussion and creative thoughts on aging and eldercare.
About Steve Gurney
Steve Gurney is the founder and publisher of Guide to Retirement Living SourceBook, a comprehensive resource he founded 20 years ago. He speaks regularly on a variety of topics and has assisted hundreds of senior-serving organizations in reaching solutions to their challenges. Steve is a graduate of the innovative Masters of Management in Aging Services Program at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Learn more by visiting retirement-living.com or calling 1-800-394-9990.