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Life in a retirement home
May 29, 2008 9:06 PM   Subscribe

Senior High: A week-long series from the Globe and Mail on life in the Terraces of Baycrest, a retirement home in Toronto. Drawing parallels to high school (the average stay of residents is 4.5 years), stories have ranged from the anxieties about the first day, the problems with cliques and getting snubbed by the cool kids, the ups and downs of the dating scene, and what to do about the awful food in the cafeteria. On Friday the series concludes with graduation, the one area where you might think the analogy would fall apart.

Humanizing above all else, each piece is supplemented with video interviews of the residents that give a bit more flavour to the story. Read and watch it now as the Globe and Mail usually archives its stories within a couple of weeks.
posted by cardboard (17 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's official: old people are having more sex than me.

These are lovely, cardboard, thanks.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:16 PM on May 29, 2008


Mrs. Hoch sees how some women flirt. “They touch a man on the shoulder, on the arm. Maybe they want a man,” she says with some disapproval. But on second thought, she softens: “They're only in their 80s, they're young.”
posted by Avenger at 9:26 PM on May 29, 2008


After my maternal grandmother died my maternal grandfather went into flurry of dating that I couldn't match even at my dating peak. Old people are freakier than most people realize.
posted by GuyZero at 9:30 PM on May 29, 2008


Metafilter: The residents are old, and many are frail, but they're not done growing, they're not done learning, and they're not done with the messy business of love and loneliness and rage and joy that defines the human experience.
posted by mecran01 at 9:37 PM on May 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think juvenalizing old people is a little insulting.
posted by empath at 9:43 PM on May 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


My father had a shirt he really loved: "I'm not 60. I'm 18, with 42 years' experience."
posted by Malor at 9:48 PM on May 29, 2008


My father had an 18-year old he really loved.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:09 PM on May 29, 2008


Old people are freakier than most people realize.

Why wouldn't they be? Possible age-related difficulties aside, they're still people. They may come from a generation that was brought up to never kiss and tell, but they've had way more practice at it than we have. That old dude in front of you in line at the grocery store might have been having threesomes with Vegas cocktail waitresses decades before you were even conceived.
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:46 PM on May 29, 2008


“One lady, on the second date she attacked me, and we went all the way!”

At the Terraces, 90 per cent of the residents are single. Women outnumber men 4 to 1, but a recent influx of single men such as Mr. Hersch has injected a jolt of excitement.


*siiiigh* What dahlia said.
posted by phrontist at 11:10 PM on May 29, 2008


Bueller?
whuh? Did you say something?
Bueller?
I can't hear you, dammit!
Bueller?
I'm not interested in buying anything!
Bueller?
I saved your god damned kids asses in the war!
Bueller?
You'd be speaking German right now if it wasn't for me!
Bueller?
Get off my god damn lawn!
posted by stavrogin at 11:51 PM on May 29, 2008


In high school, people complained about the cafeteria food.
As an undergrad, people complained about the cafeteria food.
As a grad student, people complain about the cafeteria food.
In my workplace, people complain about the cafeteria food.

Apparently that's what I have to look forward to when I retire too.

Everyone always complains about the cafeteria food.
posted by grouse at 1:46 AM on May 30, 2008


In my opinion, old people (by virtue of being old) have understood that most obstacles in a relationship are self-imposed, and that time is of the essence. This is what they mean when they say youth is wasted on the young.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 2:59 AM on May 30, 2008


What empath said.

No amount of clever writing and pseudo-witty phrases can get around the fact that getting old is crap, and for most a retirement home is a place they go to die. Yea, I am sure they are some frisky ones "gettin' some", but come on people, how many of you have been to these place where senility, incontinence pads, and loneliness are more often the rule? Shakespeare had a much better idea of this when he said:

.......Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

posted by vac2003 at 4:10 AM on May 30, 2008


What Caution said ...
posted by aldus_manutius at 6:17 AM on May 30, 2008


:)

this is good.
posted by eatdonuts at 10:11 AM on May 30, 2008


No amount of clever writing and pseudo-witty phrases can get around the fact that getting old is crap, and for most a retirement home is a place they go to die.

So true. My FIL just had to put my MIL in an assisted living facility... She's 68 and in the latter stages of Alzheimer's Disease. She's in a special wing of the place for patients like her, and the facility is very nice as these places go (for $124 per day, it should be the Hilton.) Anyway, despite the cheery decor and attentive staff and the faux malt shop room and the sing-alongs, you can't get past the number of people sitting hunched over, barely moving, staring vaguely, mumbling the same nonsensical phrases to themselves over and over. The ones that have to be spoon-fed pureed fruit like an infant. Medical science is keeping us alive a lot longer, but for what purpose?
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:26 AM on May 30, 2008


High school really never ends, even when you're 90. *cries*
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:02 PM on May 30, 2008


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