27 Going On 72

I love Bingo and I’m not afraid to say it. 

In fact, one highlight of my family’s annual beach vacation to Chincoteague, Va., is going to the town carnival at least three times to play Bingo. It’s a scene straight out of “The Andy Griffith Show”, with the town’s elderly volunteer fireman calling out the numbers and making inappropriate remarks whenever they get O-69.

But the big thrill of the night always comes when a 13-year-old local boy inevitably runs past the Bingo hall and screams a fake “Bingo,” which throws everyone into a tizzy. Crazy, crazy kids!

In addition to these summertime Bingo escapades, I also love finding a good bargain, eating dinner before 6 p.m. and going to the movies by myself. In light of these interests, I feel very confident I will make a very good old person. 

Senior citizens are certainly a distinctive group of people, and their housing needs are very different from other residents.

In January’s End Points, Property Manager Allison Fry, CAM, shares 10 things that are unique to senior housing. Following are four:

1. A history lesson at work. According to Fry, much can be learned by taking the time to sit and listen to older adults. Many have lived through the Great Depression, served our country in wars and raised families, and have many interesting stories to share from these experiences.

Just be forewarned—you may hear the same story about 35 times. My dear Nana used to frequently tell me about the peanut butter and jelly sandwich she made every morning for my cousins’ lunch boxes. I prayed she’d pack roast beef one day, if only to liven up the story.

2. Free medical education. Conversations with senior residents always seem to revolve around their most recent health concern, Fry says. Residents are more than happy—whether or not you asked—to share the latest results of their colonoscopy or update you on how “Old Arthur” has been treating them.

My mother is a very young 59 and hardly a senior citizen, despite what AARP might think, but I can attest to many a dinner conversation that has veered into “graphic medical ailment” territory. I find this hilarious, my father finds it upsetting.

3. You’re reminded to call home. Some senior residents have family members who are wonderful about coming to visit with them weekly or even daily, Fry says. On the flip side, other residents’ loved ones move them in and are rarely seen again. 

A lesson to my parents—stay on my good side if you want the face time in 10 years.

4. Love stories for the ages—and ageless. Fry’s communities contain mostly women, so you can literally feel the excitement in the air when a male resident moves in. It’s like an episode of "The Bachelor"—senior housing style.

Or, in my case, the way I feel any time we get a new male co-worker. 

For more, check out “10 Things Unique to Senior Housing” in the January issue of units Magazine, which mailed Jan. 8.

Lauren Boston is NAA’s Staff Writer and Manager of Public Relations. Unsurprisingly, she writes a lot—most often for units Magazine and as a weekly blogger for APTly Spoken. She enjoys making people laugh, sharing embarrassing childhood stories and being the (self-proclaimed) Voice of the Apartment Industry. She welcomes feedback, unless it’s negative (in which case, please keep it to yourself).