Place is our home, school, where we work, and if we are religious, where we worship.
Apartment living, which I did for my first 18 years, does not automatically mean Place as I intend. Place is where a “community” is formed. I have written previously about community and will write more. Still, place without community is just a place, not the Place that I believe is essential to a better aging experience. My family lived in apartments, and the 8 of us were always in tight quarters, so I know it was never a Place for me.
Place without community is a form of isolation, not a weapon to aid our battle against aging. In fact, it is a force contributing to one’s demise. So, what about living in our own home or a single dwelling? Almost everything about living in and being responsible for a single dwelling will eventually become problematic. Even with many houses on the block you live on, there is no assurance that a community exists. Lenette and I have lived in many places, and only once did a small community exist. In that instance, there were only three homes. The families within them came close to my definition of community, and we all benefited.
Does living with one’s own family make for community? Maybe and maybe not. Many families are dysfunctional, hierarchical, and ruled with an iron fist. How is this like anything we call “community?”
Even if we consider our eventual need for caregivers, will our family and those we must live with be overzealous in their care for us, or will they not care, do too little, or do it with attitude? Aging takes away our freedom to care for ourselves. If we live long enough, we cannot avoid becoming like a baby in a crib.
We will die, but if we are alive, we must fight this eventuality, and “Place” is one of our weapons in the battle to live while still alive. “Revel” is our community; we know we are fortunate to be here.