By Cindy Monk
Alabama Mature Moves

My clients are happier when they downsize to a retirement community or I would not do what I do for a living, but I believe they could be happier if more people set the goal to demand “residential normalcy.”

In “The Quest for Residential Normalcy by Older Adults,” featured in the Journal of Aging Studies, Stephen M. Golant defines residential normalcy as “places where [older adults] experience overall pleasurable, hassle-free, and memorable feelings that have relevance to them; and where they feel both competent and in control – that is they do not have to behave in personally objectionable ways or unduly surrender mastery of their lives or environments to others.”

Golant explains the holistic emotion-based theory that shows various ways older adults can live in an environment that fits their needs and goals.

Yes, there are many “very nice” retirement communities. Retirement communities are doing an excellent job of meeting the needs of us as we age. Often I see very happy people living there. I typically ask them if they are enjoying living in _________. They say yes with a smile. But for those of us that can afford to live in the retirement community we need to take an active role in being advocates for those that can’t afford it. Men and women with minimal income, or no assets, and no family are being ignored as if they don’t even exist.