CBS Sandwich Generation Story
University of Oregon Students In On Family Caregiving

Culture Clash Between "Young" Elders and Older Folks

Something I hadn't given a lot of thought about - but should - has been well addressed by In "Culture clashes when old moves in with older." Aging boomers have different ideas about what they want in a facility than the older generation, many of whom are still fairly active into their 90s.

"Culture Clashes" looks into this problem. It begins:

"SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- At retirement communities around the United States, a gap is opening between the 90-year-olds and the comparatively spry 70-year-old newcomers.

They are clashing over the food, the conversion of tea rooms into coffee bars, higher monthly fees for weight rooms, roomier quarters and computer-ready apartments demanded by the younger, more active set.

And the tension is expected to grow as more baby boomers enter their golden years. They are expected to be healthier and more active than the generation before them. By 2030, one in five U.S. residents is expected to be 65 and older."

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I am a retired geriatrician and novelist who is working on a novel about culture clashes in a retirement community. It's a familiar story to those who remember the 1960s: fights about music, sex, drugs, clothes, and politics. Although the warriors are older, the passions run just as deep. If you have any interesting views/opinions/anecdotes on the subject, please email them to me at

Hi Lori,
I am a fan of GilbertGuide and will read your post. I've written about the Eden Alternative in my column.

I love your thoughts about different "classes" in nursing facilities. I think the best of them will need to do that - not based on age, but on interest and need. Just one more thing to improve the care of seniors of any age and ability. Thanks for writing. I'm going to check out your blog.

My name’s Lori and I’m one of the writers for Gilbert Guide (the foremost resource for everything senior care.) A big part of my job is writing reviews for senior facilities, and, although I haven’t seen too much of this in my travels, my interest is piqued. Would you suggest creating skilled nursing and assisted living facilities for different levels of aging—just like school? I am wondering if the solution may be to create separate common areas for “old school” and “new school” residents—although age is the common denominator on the whole, I assume some of the younger crowd may not be keen on all the perks, while some of the older crowd may be thrilled to have computer access and coffee bars. This is certainly an interesting topic, and I look forward to reading what your other readers think.

I recently wrote a post about The Green House Project that I think you might find interesting. In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept, the project adheres to the Eden Alternative, which is a highly innovative approach to senior care. I’d be curious to learn your thoughts on the matter. You can read the post here:


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