PhotoLuminations: Photography and Stories

Jerry Halberstadt: Seeing the story, making a difference

Elderly Crossings

A Path to Another Country

Psychologists say that moving, divorce, and the death of a loved one are three of the most difficult life transitions. Have they measured the difficulty of moving to that other country, the land of the aged? The lucky ones have caring relatives and friends or can hire professionals to provide help and emotional support during the difficult transition. Others muddle through with help, if they are fortunate, from competent, caring professionals.

What about living in elderly housing on a restricted income? Surely that is in "another country," to borrow the title of Mary Pipher's insightful book that seeks to help elders and their children bridge the age divide. In that country, the pedestrian crossings are marked "Elderly Crossing." ...

The social life of the benches

An apartment building full of elderly people--all capable of independent living--becomes a strange kind of village. Think a thought and everyone knows what is on your mind. Sit with companions and hear the same stories of long-ago events told with relish, time and time again. Hear the gossip, too. Over, and over, and over. Recall the friends, neighbors, and family who have all died. Wonder about the friend taken to hospital.

Sit on the benches at the front of the building, enjoy the sun and the shade and the breeze, try to stay upwind of the smokers, and enjoy the benefits of international travel without moving. By this I mean, listen to the babel of languages from people who are from immigrant origins: Finnish, Greek, Italian, French, Canadian, Dutch, Palestinian, Israeli, Portuguese and more....

To read more, please go to Elderly Crossings.

To read more, please go to Elderly Crossings.

To read all essays in the blog dealing with elderly.

Contents: Living with Age all photos and essays