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A Great Presentation

by Louis on May 7, 2009

I went to the local senior provider monthly networking meeting operated by GROWS this morning. I attended these meetings regularly for about ten years. I dropped back as my focus shifted from local home modification consulting and contracting to writing, speaking and consulting on Aging in Place and Universal Design on a larger scale. It was great to see so many friends and colleagues (Do you sense is a life theme here?) I went because my stream of local Independent Living Strategy design consulting and project management work has slowed but more importantly because my good friend Steve Gurney was the presenter.

Steve is the publisher of an outstanding quarterly resource guide and website Guide to Retirement Living. I remember when it was a xerox handsheet. Now it is a very full slick magazine and robust website.

It was a fantastic presentation based on Steve’s move into a retirement community this winter. He calls it 43 Year Old Man Moves into a Retirement Community. He chronicled the entire experience on his blog, Everyone is Aging. You might think this was a publicity stunt. I didn’t think that because I know, like and respect Steve. The presentation made very clear that it was nothing like that. Steve’s intention was to walk the walk, to better understand the experience he has dedicated his life to facilitating- moving out of your own home into a retirement community.

I encourage you to read through the blog. Steve spent time planning to give up his car, blackberry, work and family for a week. He recognized his move was not permanent like his fellow residents’ experience. That’s why he was even more struck by the intensity of his emotional reactions. Everything Steve said rang true.

Also interesting was that Steve’s remarks about segregation, walkable neighborhoods, wisdom, grasping the purpose of life and learned helplessness are almost word for word matches to the conclusions of the Atlanta Regional Commission‘s Lifelong Communities Design Charrette this winter.

I will be writing more about the design charrette shortly. I promise it will be worth your time reviewing Steve’s blog. Let me know what you think!

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