A Tale of Two Homes

Yesterday Mike and I visited two potential “forever homes”. The wish being to find a residence with low or no maintenance, accessible for all ages, surrounded by a spirited/caring community, sited in an environmentally acceptable location. The
first one was a three bedroom, two bath, exquisitely sited and maintained single family home. 2000 square feet on one level with a split floor plan, perfect for entertaining and with every detail making it energy efficient and accessible for elder living. Loved the home and the back yard. The only rub: more floor space and less community spirit than one person would need around them when their partner was gone.

The second was a 1,600 square foot, one level condo, on a private corner lot/building overlooking the Swannanoa River. It offered an open floor plan with a wonderful spacious deck for indoor/outdoor living. Suh-weet location and affordable. While the neighborhood seemed filled with cooperative, caring folks, the problem with this 3 bed/2 bath residence was that the tiny bathrooms and narrow halls afforded no accessibility for a walker, much less a wheelchair, if either was ever needed.

Overall, the ongoing hunt for our final downsize move has reemphasized what I know is my heart’s desire – a well-designed, relatively small, cheerful abode with shared common facilities and community activities that encourage relationship building. Bottom line is, I want the plusses of continuing care community life, but without the institutional management.

Here’s a story I found on AARP’s “Let’s Disrupt Aging” conversation page. Entitled, “What If Your Old Age Home Was Like an Episode of Friends?”; it made me laugh and say, “YES! That’s what I want. Not “The Golden Girls”, just a mashup of “Friends”, who live in close proximity as “chosen family”, and “Cheers”, a place where everyone knows your name, even if each of us has her/his own home. And still we care about and look out for one another.

What’s your idea of the perfect “forever home”?