I am the youngest resident, at 79, due to be 80 in a month. There are close to 100 residents in independent living, many in their 90's and the balance in their 80's. A whole lot of respect is owing to these men and women, in my opinion, except when it isn't. I would recommend to anyone who is considering the move to an independent facility, devise some method of judging the ideas of the residents. I based my decision on the overall cheerfulness I found here. It never occurred to me to make any judgement call on "political" issues.
Sports are a hot topic here, and Cleveland has plenty of sports teams. One tiny old woman, Mary, is past 95, is spry as they come. Walks quickly, with no walker or cane. She feels totally entitled to cut into a line and no one challenges her. Another resident came into one of the common rooms wearing an old Cleveland Indians tee shirt. Mary immediately began (or in her case resumed) her favorite topic, "They should still be the Cleveland Indians! What are these "Guarders" anyway?"
I listened a while, then asked if she was familiar with the Guardians, what they represented, where they were. "No, but I suppose you know and are going to tell me!" I said, to the audience, they were a series of award winning art deco figures on the Hope Memorial bridge crossing the Cuyahoga River from Loraine to Carnegie Avenue. The several figures represented traffic that built the valley. There is a farmer, pioneers, construction and more I would need to look up on Wikipedia. Or they could. Mary said I was a Ladeda educated person and turned her back. So much for letting a group know that prejudice is not acceptable.
So that's a little background of listening to rude remarks about people of another culture. One example is the tip of the iceberg here in this very red county I have moved into, but less than ten miles.
I eat dinner with three other women, whose company I enjoy when certain topics don't come up. All three are Catholic, as are most residents here. My table mates are sincere Catholics, and one is past sincere to the extent of forming a Bible study group. When I was asked to join I inquired into the topics she might cover. From a short list, I latched onto the Song of Ruth, and even re-read it to be prepared. But the topic of the first class is the 23rd psalm, and I said I could not do it justice and did not join.
Sadly, I have a bigger problem I have not found a way to address. All three are deeply against LGBTQ+, and have exchanged some bitter remarks. I have looked all three in the eye and said nothing. I have no broad platform to address them, no Hope Memorial Bridge to walk across.
Though I have four qualifying grandchildren, I think I'll start with all my friends from my art days. All three of these dinner companions wear art show clothing and jewelry, and probably would be stunned to know I recognize some artists and their gender might surprise them. It goes from there to a discussion of what makes people feel comfortable in their skin. I could even used my acquired grandson as an example; without identifying his relationship to me, I am more than happy to explain this is a person I get along with as a man far better than the old days, as a woman. This identity is comfortable for him.
I'm pleased I made my views known on the Cleveland Guardians, and I have nothing to lose putting out my opinion on bashing people for their gender identities.
I need to add, I looked into several independent facilities and chose this based on the genuine sense of pleasure among the residents. My three table mates have a far wider circle of acquaintances than I, and at the table they often discuss recent residents and what facility they came from. Facilities chosen for lower cost are being left, in favor of the Atrium in Aurora. Lower cost in other facilities is reflected in the quality of food, the amount of housekeeping, programs offered, and the attitude of staff.
Finally, kitty extends her nose from under the shoe shelf for the rattle of the treat can. I must keep my feet out of sight; she disappears at the sight of my toe. If we wind up in the same room by mistake, she continues whatever she's out for, never takes here eye off me and gives me a wide berth in passing me.
Here is another profile of Kitty: but I cannot find it. I've screwed up my photos. Here's an old picture of a pretty cat: