Aging issues and discussions are often avoided as they are seen as depressing, perhaps rude (who wants to acknowledge they are aging?) and just not very fun to talk about. Recently my family was facing some “end-of-life” decisions as my grandmother’s health declined at such a rapid pace that the entire family was discussing how to handle “things.” She said her goodbye’s and requested that all of her medications be stopped, her IV discontinued, and just wanted to be let go. Of course being my grandmother (of incredibly strong will), that didn’t really stop anything at all and she is doing quite well now, months later, and will be around for years to come. That aside, it brought up a lot of delicate discussions. Hard to believe since this woman is nearing 90…
When do we discuss aging? If we don’t discuss it in the early years along with proactive, preventative measures, what can we possibly discuss in our elder years other than reactive? I remember my grandfather put up an enormous fight over giving up his car keys, and later was seen driving his motor scooter down the street with a flash light tied the front… But again, I digress.
Is anything being done to improve “quality of life” of the elder community BEFORE they get to a stage where “matters need to be discussed?”
I came across some news this past week about a program that is being piloted to allow older drivers reduced car insurance. Allstate has a plan in the works that would offer clients aged 50-75, discounts in exchange for GAMING! Gaming often receives a bad rap for being a waste of time, instigating violent behaviors, or just whatever-negative-reasoning-someone-can-create. The truth is that gaming increases cognitive behavior and response time and is an excellent way to rejuvenate the mind.
The news of Allstate’s program is what I hope to be the first of many such ingenious ways to discuss aging matters, improve quality of life of those currently in the “Baby Boomer phase” and simply bring attention to an aspect of life that usually receives a “shhh” response.
Now, what does this have to do with “Geeks & Gamers?” It’s simple… how many assisted living homes have Themes? None that I’ve come across. There are the standard services offered along with nursing care and different levels of assistance and monitoring. What about activities? How many assisted living homes provide the option for those to live with other people who have common interests? I picture assisted living homes like college dorms, but they are nothing like that at all. Why not?
Forget arts & crafts, shuffle board, and Mahjong. I want to see assisted living homes have themes, and most importantly, when it’s time – I want to live with the geeks and gamers. I’d like to spend my evenings in the common room playing D&D, Magic the Gathering, or whatever MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online game) is popular in 40 years so I can play alongside my friends in other parts of the country.
What about you? What do you want to see change?