Friday, September 14, 2012

Where Do Old Gay Men Go?

Bill on our deck today in the light
Recently friends of our were moved into an apartment.  Both of them have physical and mental problems.

This raises the question again of what happens to two old gay men who go downhill?  In the case of our friends the nephew(who has the power of attorney) of the one friend worked with two of the church members to move them out of their doublewide home on twenty-two acres of land.  Neither one of them can take care of themselves.  Their ages are 71 and 75.

Bill will be 84 in a few weeks and I'll be 71 in two months.  Both of us are in reasonably good health (both mental and physical) for two old men.  Of course we have our aches and pains but nothing approaching the mental and physical problems of our friends.  Who knows, maybe we'll be there someday.  But I don't think so nor does Bill.  We keep our minds active and get plenty of exercise.  Hopefully that helps in keeping at bay mental and physical decline.

Yesterday Bill and I took a ride to the apartment complex where are friends were placed.  All the apartments looked alike.  The only difference was the number on the door.  The buildings reminded me of one of those prisons on MSNBC's program "Lockup."  Yes, they looked like prisons.  Bill said "It looks like a place where you go to die."  Needless to say, it was a depressing visit.

The only window we could see was on the one side and it faced the parking lot.  Their "Unit" (which is part of their address) looked like a prison cell from the outside.  I would go crazy if I had to live in such a "unit."  Bill felt the same way.

We live in a beautiful development about six miles north of Rehoboth Beach, on the bayside.  Our house is spacious with a LOT of windows.  I need a lot of light to function.  If I lived in a "unit" like our friends I would become so depressed.  I get depressed in winter with the shorter days and lack of light. In our home in Pennsylvania I couldn't even work in our finished basement room because it didn't have natural daylight.  I need light.

We also have a huge back yard.  Both Bill and I like the change of seasons and all the activity that goes on in our backyard from the first birds in spring to all the plants and flowers.  We need this life to live.  Neither one of us can imagine living in a "unit" with one window to a parking lot.

Bill and I have made a pact.  We're not going anywhere.  The only time we're leaving this home is feet first.


anne marie in philly said...

bill looks so contented out there. yeah, feet first; stay there as long as you can; those other places are death warehouses.

Jon said...

I've always been very self-sufficient and independent, but I'm terrified of what will happen when I get old (or older...). I'm completely isolated here in Texas, which is why I'd like to move closer to where I have relatives and friends.

You have a beautiful home and I truly hope you can stay there until you leave (as you said) "feet first".
Your deck is gorgeous. It looks so peaceful.

Ur-spo said...

A sobering post, indeed. I hope you two stay put in that house.

wcs said...

It's something I think we all wonder about. And I agree about light. The constant darkness would definitely depress me. I love light, bright rooms, except at night!

Bob said...

I don't think I could do a "unit" either. I don't need a lot of space, but I need some windows!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Aging heteros have the same concerns. Even the very "nicest" of nursing homes is depressing. You walk in, and always see the "regulars" in the lobby area, sitting around in their wheelchairs, just passing time. Not talking, not laughing. Just existing... but barely. I loathe the idea of giving up my freedom, of being herded like mindless cattle. Hell, no we won't go! My husband and I are determined to stay in our own home, too.

Ron said...


You're so right, all aging folks have the same concerns. Many of we gay folks have that extra concern that we don't have a support network of children. Of course many straight older folks don't have that support either.

We promised our Mother that we would never send her to such a place. We were able to keep our promise but just barely. Those places are warehouses, no matter how nice the furniture or people are. I don't fear dying but I do fear dying that way.


Ron said...


Foremost, I need my freedom of movement. I need a lot of space, light and the freedom to go wherever and whenever I please. If I ever get down like my friends are now, I might as well die. That to me is no life. I don't fear death but I do fear dying that way.

You would like our house, lots and lots of windows! Everyone says that the first time they're in our house.


nitewrit said...


Well, you know what we're going through now and I have no intention to end up that way. I think like should go out as a bang, not a whimper. Don't want to die like a tire with a slow leak.

I'm surprised you didn't furnish a photo of their place.


Ron said...


I agree with you, I'm not going there. You were right to be surprised that I didn't furnish a photo of their place. Believe it or not, I forgot to take a photo. I just got back from visiting them, I took a photo which will be in my next blog posting.

Ron said...


I just got back form visiting them. They have a fair amount of light, more than I thought. Their apartment is actually very nice. Something to think about if I really get up in years and can't keep up this big house. Yes, something to think about.


Ron said...

Dr. Spo,

I plan to stay at Casa Tipton-Kelly until I expire. That is my hope.


Ron said...

Anne Marie,

I just got back from their place. It's not as bad as I thought. Still, I want the back yard and lots of space and light.


Ron said...


I feel the same way you do, I've also always been very self-sufficient and independent. The point I wanted to make in my blog posting was that we self-sufficient, independent gay men face a different set of issues when we get older and more infirm. One of the reasons I moved to southern Delaware was the potential for more support because of the larger gay community. I don't have any relatives left in Pennsylvania other than my brother and nephew and his wife and none of them would of could take care of me. I wouldn't want them to anyway.

Yes, our back deck is very peaceful. Bill spends a lot of time there.