At one time, my son Morgan lived in Florida while I lived in Texas. Once we met halfway in New Orleans to hang out for a few days. We were wandering the French Quarter looking for dinner. Now finding the right place to eat is always a long process for he and I. It’s not that we disagree on what we like. We agree quite well. The trick is finding a place that meets our standards and expectations. Down at one end of the quarter we saw Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Café. We checked it out and both decided it was not where we wanted to go*.

This mutual understanding is analogous to another related term from a letter by Debra Canova where she coins the term geezerville in referring to living facilities restricted to older people. She makes three points that I really like. First, Canova says, “I do not agree with segregating retired people into geezer-ville communities,” second, “Older people should be in the mix of our general population to con¬tinue to lead useful and rich lives,” and third, “As a baby boomer, geezer-ville is not a place I would even consider.”

I don’t think either Morgan (an X-Gen’er) nor I (a slightly pre-baby boomer) would ever consider geezerville either. Oh, and I know my father and three aunts (all living into their 90’s) rejected geezerville as well.

So why move to geezerville? In an article by Steve Gurney discussing age segregation, he says, “most people I talk to state that the move [to an age segregated community] was to receive services, downsized lifestyle and not to get away from younger people. … I feel like our current system presents the ‘easy’ option, pay your rent here and we will deliver these services.”

It is curious that the services older people need are the same services needed by people of any age who are frail, have balance problems, brittle bones, coordination issues, processing difficulties, mood swings, memory lapses, etc. Anyone can be in need of services but we create isolated communities for people who are old.

As a counterpoint, we also create residential schools for young people with these same and similar issues and the occasional mental facility for the rest of us. Speaking of residential mental facilities; those are somewhat gone now with the concepts of deinstitutionalization and mainstreaming having integrated many inmates into the general population. Not sure how that fits in here, but perhaps it highlights the difficulty of regulating human interactions and living patterns.

At one time, Morgan lived in Florida and Jason lived in California. Now, Dianne and I celebrate that both sons live within a hoot ‘n a holler of our rural home in the Texas Hill Country. Life is complicated and as time moves along we are presented with different paths to take. Spare me the Road to Geezerville (with apologies to Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour)

Poster - Road to Singapore

Poster - Road to Singapore

References and Links

Buffett, Jimmy.  Link to the Margaritaville Café in New Orleans –

Canova, Debra. Fewer ‘geezer-ville’ communities needed. Letter at –

Gurney, Steve. Some Thoughts on Age Segregation. Blog posting at –

Paramount Pictures. Poster for 1940 film “Road to Singapore” –

* Not to drag this story out, but we finally chose a brew pub and ribs joint down by the old Jax brewery.