The emotion of moving is ageless

“How can you truly experience the feelings that the elderly have when they move to a retirement home? You’re not going to feel the deep loss of giving up many possessions, losing your lifetime home, your neighbors, and many friends.”
This is an excerpt from an email that I received recently. I love emails like this! Being challenged on this concept forces me to give aspects of this project alot more thought.  My thoughts on this have taken me down an interesting path that I wanted to share (some might call this a bizarre path!)

Here is a photo of me in the 5th grade!

43 year old retirement community resident in the 5th grade

In the 5th grade my parents told me we were moving away from Dearborn, Michigan. I loved our house, my room, my friends, my school and every aspect of the community. I was pretty devastated. The transition was not an easy one.

I would challenge anyone to say that my feelings about transition as a youth are any less important than those that an elder faces when making a transition to a new community. I might even argue that a child could feel more helpless in this situation because they are dependants and not adults.

The elders that transition to a life in retirement communities are adults who have made complex and important decisions throughout their lives. I have seen some family dynamics that compromise this and put adults in a position of a dependant child. I hope that there might be some creative ways that elders and youth can help each other through these similar  transitions.

Now I am less than a week away from moving into Paul Spring, I can tell you that I have been here before emotionally . . . thinking about my first day at the new school after the move from Michigan!

At 13 or 43, the feeling is still the same, and I imagine at 83 it will feel the same too!

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