– where later life is a positive experience

By Jan Garde, Founder & CEO, THE EMBASSIES

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THE EMBASSIES OF GOOD LIVING, co-living for the 60+ demographic. Illustration by Gizem Winter.

The world is undergoing a radical demographic shift. Almost 20 percent of people in the European Union are already over 65. By 2025, around 10% of the population of Japan will be over 80. The Earth’s population is ageing, quickly and dramatically. We’re living longer than ever before.

When I consider old age, I think: where will I live? I worry I’ll be institutionalised in a care home, because where else will I go? The connotations around senior living are mostly negative. Old age is a lonely limbo. A decline. The state before death. A waiting game. We are led to believe our senior lives are of little value — that as soon as we become old we are of little value, almost meaningless. Our knowledge is dismissed — knowledge developed across a lifetime! Our experience means nothing. We are forgotten and passed over. We are a burden — at least, we worry we have become a burden. Because physical health wanes in later life, we are encouraged to move into retirement facilities, institutionalised, away from the homes in which we have lived our lives, comfortably, the way we’ve wanted to, for years. The facilities resemble — let’s be honest — neither our homes nor five-star accommodation. …

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It’s always about the combination of form and function. Illustration: Gizem Winter, @theembassies.com

By Jan Garde

Consider this situation. You’re 65 years old. You’re healthy. You’ve had a successful career, perhaps a family, and your children are fully grown. You’ve achieved plenty, at home and at work, and you’re satisfied and content.

But your options for a fulfilling future are beginning to seem limited.

You’d like to stay in your own home, but you know it perhaps won’t always be practical, so you begin looking for alternatives, of which there are very few. …

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