Is it Your Wish to be Living in a Box?
Some 20 years ago, a friend of mine moved into “public housing”. I thought it was like “living in a box”. She was slightly disabled, 55 years of age, and alone. When I visited her, I was shocked. I had not visited this sort of housing before. The building was some 20 years old, was dark and gloomy and very basic. There was a small main bedroom – big enough for a queen-sized bed, but with little space surrounding it.
The kitchen was small and pokey, with room for a refrigerator that when in place prevented one accessing some of the cupboards. A pokey loungeroom where her tiny dining table sat, blocking off the walkway. The bathroom was basic plus it was also the laundry. A short walk away was the clothesline – at least she could hang her washing in the open air, but as you can guess it was challenging with only the use of one arm!
I’ve heard many references over the years suggesting that older people were put in boxes, waiting for them to die. Of course, the public purse did have to be careful managing the limited financial resources. My friend still lives in this property – and sadly little or nothing has been done to improve it. She is still living in this gloomy box, with no other options.
Is a Tiny House better?
Here we are in 2019 and smaller boxes are seen as “TINY HOUSES” and are considered suitable for housing. I’ve lived in a van, and I have visited builders of tiny houses and spent some time in some to see how I would feel living in one. In those with the bed in the loft, I consider them unsafe/unsuitable for seniors. They are very small and while one can sleep, eat and watch television I would feel quite closed in, and uncomfortable, but if there was community space nearby, it might be workable.
What facilities do older people want in an apartment?
I am not going to explore that here – but I do have a sense that builders of community houses, houses for senior solo folk, think that the bare minimum is all that is needed. One day I will explore this more.
Maybe readers can make suggestions.