Wanna Join My Commune?
My housemate is in the midst of securing a place for her elderly mother. Which got me to thinking.
When those of us who are between 30 and 50 years old, those many of us who don't have children — when we turn 70, we'll need to face those years with courage. I looked at this site called The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. They say 6 million people today have late-life depression, but only 10% of those people get any help for it.
Here's some news from Australia, via a cool site I found called Mission Australia (I'm not sure what the statistics are like in the U.S.):
Statistics tell us that 9.4 per cent of people – or 11,300 individuals – who used the nation’s system of homeless services in 2006-07 were aged 50 or over. However, that’s likely to be a significant underestimation because we know that older homeless people aren’t accessing mainstream services in their true numbers.
That’s because they believe – mostly correctly – that existing homeless services don’t address their complex needs. Another common reason is because they feel too proud or independent to use them.
But think about this: What would happen if, in the next fifteen years, groups of us who knew and liked each other moved somewhere with a mild climate, where houses and land were cheap? We could pool our money together and buy a nice old house and put in a great big vegetable garden. We'd take care of each other and understand one another, and we'd all come to terms with death in our own ways, surrounded by people who are dying too, and the rest of our lives would be hard and profound and dignified.
p.s. The Jim Kweskin Jug Band