I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday. I will be trying to blog a bit more frequently over the next several weeks.
My son Ian reported that on a drive through Massachusetts, he was amused to see a road sign that said, “Caution – Senior Housing”.
I also found this amusing. There are a lot of ways that it can be interpreted, each encouraging commentary.
First is the most humorous, that it suggests that the driver may be entering a dangerous neighborhood. Unfortunately, the humor is marred by the fact that many neighborhoods have lobbied against such housing, due to unrealistic fears about people with dementia living nearby.
Second is the most likely interpretation: the fact that a concentration of older people nearby poses some special driving hazard. But driving data do not support the risk of older drivers over younger. Or maybe it’s meant to be like “Caution – Children at Play”. I think “Elders at Play” would be a nice alternative to this!
My favorite spin on the sign is the idea that the housing itself might be offensive to passers-by. So often, this housing offers only a pale imitation of what true homes and communities should be. We are used to labeling nursing homes as “institutional”, but we often miss the fact that life in “independent housing” also falls into this trap.
So, “Caution – Senior Housing”: Buyer Beware!