The Pod People

Multi-generational homes are soon to be all the rage. With retirement accounts for the average baby boomer looking pale or nonexistent, more and more families are faced with a difficult choice: have mom and dad move in, or kick ’em to the curb. While some have recognized the impending shift and lined up to capitalize on the opportunity—see link below— most of us remain blind to the possibility that we’re all due for a little adjustment to our standard of living.

From NPR: Granny Pods’ Keep Elderly Close, At Safe Distance

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6 Responses to The Pod People

  1. Ray Harris says:

    The estimated rent of $2,000 a month seems excessive until you compare it with what nursing homes charge. Back around 1994, my best friend’s grandmother who was in her late 80’s became so physically and mentally unstable that “got-down-and-couldn’t-get-up” monitoring devices were no longer adequate. He put her in a nursing home at $3,000 a month, which would have wiped out all her assets in less than a year. I went with my friend to visit her and was appalled.

    She was sitting in a stark metal chair in a room she shared with another elderly lady. I learned that she would sit there all day, refusing to eat the food and refusing to participate in any group activities. My friend would bring her Crystal hamburgers and bananas which she did eat.

    The staff obviously did not care if the old lady ate or starved, lived or died.

    On my advice, my bachelor friend sold his grandmother’s little homemade shack for $40,000 and furnished a room in his own home for her to live. He cooked her simple meals and the county sent practical nurses to check up on her well being and blood sugar on a scheduled basis.

    She lived past 90 and if I were a Catholic, I would nominate my buddy for sainthood. I won’t go into details except to add that the old lady had two living daughters (including my bud’s own mother) when he took her into his home. They absolutely refused to take her into theirs.

    I’m glad that somebody is working on inovative solutions to the problem. Anyone who does not think there is a problem, just visit any nursing home anywhere in the country.

    Ray

    • Ray,

      I’m not ready for a granny pod yet, but the question of where I’ll live when I’m “old enough” has crossed my mind a few times lately. I wonder if most people who wind up needing to be taken care of, in one way or another, by their adult children–I wonder if the situation just typically sneaks up on them, of if they’ve thought about “What now?” before “now” arrives. And I wonder how many families actually manage to discuss living arrangements before there’s an urgent need.

      • Ray Harris says:

        Have you ever seen the black comedy “Where’s Poppa?” (Ruth Gordon plays the crazy Mama.)

        If not, you gotta order it up. And I could swear there was anudder one starring Al Pacino where he was a lawyer trying to find a nursing home for his father, but I haven’t found it by Google, and my best bud who is a trivia freak cannot remember it. If anyone can recall the flick I am thinking of, please post.

      • jonstins says:

        Al Pacino 1979
        …And Justice for All.
        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078718/

        Looks interesting. I’ll add it to my netflix list. Thanks for the tip.

  2. From renowned Eng. teacher LLS, a short story recommendation:

    Kurt Vonnegut’s short story, “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow.” It’s in the collection Welcome to the Monkey House. Basic plotline: People in the future drink Anti-Gerasone, which keeps them alive forever. Downside: There’s no place for younger people to live! Imagine the consequences? Vonnegut does.

  3. And here’s something posted just three days ago in guardian.co.uk; it’s by 77-year-old Jane Miller and is titled, “I’m not sure I really will die.” It’s both readable and thought-provoking.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/aug/26/jane-miller-growing-old-ageing

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