Written by Panorama resident, Deb Ross. November 2015
We have been dubbed the “silver tsunami”: baby boomers entering our retirement years. And retirement communities are gearing up for the opportunities and challenges our generation represents. As the largest generation ever in the United States, we have been used to getting attention from marketers, the media, our parents, and politicians. And if there’s one word we don’t like, it’s the “O” word, as in old (remember “don’t trust anyone over 30”?)
My husband and I are often asked, “Isn’t it hard to be around all those old people?” In the few months that we’ve been living at Panorama, my answer to that question has evolved. First, our community is getting younger. According to Panorama’s Marketing Department, the average age of move-in during the past year was 74. 26% were in their 60s, 45% were in their 70s, and 27% were in their 80s (1 person was 91). The average age of move in has changed over the past 15 years as follows: 2001 – 2005 = 77.1; 2006 – 2010 = 76.4; 2011 – 2015 (so far) = 74.9. Most of the newer residents we’ve met are boomers like us, or in their early 70s.
Second, I’ve come to appreciate more and more the diversity of opportunities and activities available here for the three generations of Panorama residents. There is such an age range here that some residents could be my grandparents (I’m 63; the oldest resident here is well over 100). What unifies us, in our decision to make the move to Panorama, is our desire to make the most of life, to try new things, and to engage in community. Our new neighbors are truly role models and inspirations to us as we begin to explore this new phase in our lives.
Third, I just don’t notice age differences any more. Do you recall meeting back up with someone you haven’t seen for a while, say at a high school reunion? Your first impression is “Wow! They look so old!” But after the first few minutes, they are just people, the friend you knew back then, or someone you would like to get reacquainted with. When you stop putting a person in a box, like “old,” you find you have a lot more in common with them than you initially thought.