Success is Surviving Retirement Community Living

For my cohorts thinking about entering a retirement community, think long and hard.  If you’ve read my earlier posts you know of my personal experience which now spans 120 long and often torturous days.

Not one to give up easily, I am trying to give this lifestyle a full six months/180 days to adjust or throw in the towel.

Random thoughts and recent experiences detailed below.


Main meal of the day is included and my body is trying to adjust to rich, salty and sweet offerings.

Temptation is everywhere on the menu.  It’s like being on a cruise ship with a buffet 365 day/s year.  Initially everything looks delicious and one samples everything.  After awhile, one becomes more selective and  sticks with what the body will tolerate.  Looking for that happy medium but tempted by the pastry cart.

It would help if dining services got my order right for at least once.  Sometimes my name on my “feedbag” is unrecognizably butchered,  Usually its contents seem random or to have mistaken for someone else’s order. Yesterday, had to toss a cheeseburger because  it was more like a salt burger. Today my ice cream was melted and I mistook it for soup.

Search for Tribe

My tribal search is like looking for a needle in a haystack.  It’s like speed dating where, after about 30 seconds, one’s first impression and brief conversation tells all you care to know.  I find myself brushing up on my well-honed skill from years of needing to “network” to survive and thrive.  I have learned various maneuvers to dance away.  Needing to remember them and learn more.

Exercise Alarm

While coping with various rather petty situations, given the catastrophic world events, I try to maintain a degree of physical vitality and am seeking out the related class offerings.

Upon rising early one morning and venturing to the designated meeting place I saw no one present except a motionless form on the couch stretched out with closed eyes.  Fearing the worst had happened to this 90-plus year-old body, I was startled when his eyes popped open after sensing my presence.  Leaving well enough alone I  slowly and quietly walked away heart beating fast at my surprise encounter. Approaching the elevator to take me down from the 13th floor I came to realize one of the two elevators was once again out of service.

My exercise for that morning consisted of taking the stairs down to ground level where I could breathe easily that I did not have to confront the Angel of Death after my first cup of coffee.

Poopie Surprise

Then there was the time a resident discovered a soiled diaper in front of the elevator.  No words.

Flooding, A-C Issues Continue

More flooding (described in an earlier post), this time twice within two weeks.  Supposedly one resident wasn’t feeling well and took a 45-minute shower which stressed the pipes and knocked out the a-c in floors below.  Management offered to move residents to a hotel.  Six weeks later still no a-c in rooms.  Next story:  Resident ran the bathtub water and forgot to turn it off overnight causing water damage to dining room.  Dining room closed for repairs.

Privacy, Security, Relocation Fiascos

The topper came recently when, despite management’s promise to call in advance of requesting to gain entry, a maintenance staffer rapped on my door on a Sunday morning saying there was another “emergency” leak in apartment below mine.  Immediate entry required.  OK, asked him to come back in 30 minutes while I dried off from my otherwise peaceful shower and got dressed.

Inspection detected need to tear up my shower.  Plan for me to vacate would follow. After hours — when no staff on premises and building entry was supposedly limited — “contractor” came knocking asking for immediate entry.  Found out security door was inoperable and anybody off the street could enter.  Sent him away.

Next day had to negotiate with management to relocate me to some place on the premises rather than to some remote hotel room.  Given keys to a depressing/musty “guest room” which would be my home for the next week or more.  What a revolting development. Paying top dollar for substandard living.

Daily Mortality Reminders

Earlier in my experience I was the sole eyewitness when a woman fell head-first into a wall and landed prone on the floor.  That’s when I learned not touch the poor souls who take a fall.  Protocol is to call 911 if the person is unable to get up without assistance.  Not being trained, I tipped off the administration who summoned paramedics.  Recently, I looked out my window and saw this:

Two days later this was the view from my window:

Celebration of life notices are circulated on a nearly daily basis.  Reminders of frailty and mortality are omnipresent.

Escape Plan Needed

Does this drama ever end?  Can I survive/maintain my optimistic view another 60 days?

Plotting my escape.

Ageless Wonder


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