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#219905 - 01/26/14 11:42 PM Re: Yuck... [Re: jabber]
orchid Offline


Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3675
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
Anne, clearly you have thought through this carefully. And I totally agree it's crucial that people spend some vacation time during another region's worst weather, not best weather...to get an accurate feel.

The mildest weather regions in Canada is on the British Columbia coast..but it is also the rainier, grey areas during winter. Summer and fall are lovely. I do miss the area.

The Canadian prairies to me, are tough areas...very cold, longer winters. The only saving grace for locals here in our city, is that we are only 130 km. south of the famed Canadian Rocky Mountains...and a lot of locals do visit at least once a year there. It's only 1 hr. drive there and there are several buses that run there daily.

I grew up in southern Ontario and was there for over first 40 yrs.

I do enjoy distinct 4 seasons, I just don't like long winters. I can live with some very cold days, slush and ice ...I just don't like it stretching it into May sometimes.

Anne, Jabber and whoever else:

I have made VERY clear choices to ALWAYS live within 15 min. walk of public transit, near grocery stores and services. This actually has been my whole life.

I even remembered as a kid, my parents actively looking for their first house that it had to be close transit, stores, etc. in a city of 50,000 people.. This was in 1969. After all, they have 6 children and it just wasn't practically that my father (my mother didn't drive) would be schlepping us much for stuff.

So I am very accustomed to find accommodation, homes that had these neighbourhood factors. Even at university, I made sure where I lived I was within 15 min. walk to bus, a grocery store. http://cyclewriteblog.wordpress.com/2013...st-and-ontario/

So when I talk about cycleable neighbourhoods, these are also areas that are walkable for shopping, services and for local transit service. So I'm not really talking about cycling, but more about making life a lot easier and services far more accessible, convenient for yourself.

I would suggest for anyone downsizing to another home, to seriously consider such factors --regardless of hot or cold climates. Why live out in the rural/far flung suburban areas where you have to drive around everywhere? If we don't trust 85 yr. old folks behind the steering wheel, should we trust ourselves by that age?
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#219906 - 01/27/14 04:54 PM Re: Yuck... [Re: orchid]
Di Offline
Member

Registered: 11/15/05
Posts: 2798
Loc: NM, transplant from NJ
That's great insight, orchid.

We are 5 miles to the nearest grocery. No public transportation here. We've often thought of moving, but we are so accustomed to being "in the middle of nowhere" it'd be hard for us, at this time, to move. And we do feel the weather is ok for us now. But we often say "Where do WE go" for the winters?" since it's a bit cold for us.

When I lived in any city, of course, everything was close. There is a neighborhood "in town" (which is 38 miles from here) that has no grocery store, yet they are building "lofts" and updating the historic district surrounding the area. Pretty, but impractical.

Maybe when we get closer to "old age", we'll reconsider. It's difficult to leave "home" now.

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#219907 - 01/27/14 06:43 PM Re: Yuck... [Re: orchid]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 3212
Loc: Illinois
Those are good solid points about living close to your work, Orchid, and I agree with them.

But I think sometimes we are so used to being a nation of automobiles that we neglect these points when selecting places to live.

My mother, for example, who lives in a retirement community in a small community called Green Valley - closest city of significant size is Tucson - seems to be just now deciding that she doesn't have to travel to Tucson to get her hair cut, shop for groceries, etc.

In just the past month she has started having her hair cut by a woman who runs a salon right within their La Posada retirement community. The thing that is causing her to make these decisions is failing eyesight. Both she and her husband now have trouble driving.

But they haven't had to give up their tickets to the Tuscon Symphony, which is one of my mother's passions. LaPosada has a bus that takes people to the symphony.

I believe this bus can also can take people to doctor appointments in Tucson, when needed. But my mother isn't YET too keen on this, as it means a doctor appointment takes the whole day. (The bus makes the rounds of all the medical centers to drop people off, then circles back at the end of the day to pick everyone up.)

Sometimes therefore, she is having a friend drive her to her appointments.

But I'm getting off the main topic of the "Yucky" weather. It's sunny here today, but the temp at Noon is minus nine degrees F. With the wind chill, we are well into the negative 20s today.

I just heard that the US Weather Service has now declared this month to be the coldest month of this century. To date... (Sorry. I felt I had to add that last part. I'm afraid I worry that we are moving in the direction of weather extremes.)
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#219913 - 01/29/14 11:11 PM Re: Yuck... [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 10032
Loc: New York State
In Italy they mostly walk, ride public transit, or drive those tiny motorscooters. And bikes are big there too. In Venice they either walk or take a gondola. Living here in the country we have to drive because we're over four miles from town and twenty-five miles from the city.

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#219914 - 01/30/14 02:37 AM Re: Yuck... [Re: jabber]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 3212
Loc: Illinois
I understand, Jabber.

We live within the city limits - though Galena is pretty much a small town, not really a city IMHO. But we live on Hwy 20, which is a national highway that runs from the East to West Coats, and is full of big trucks and semis. Worse, Galena happens to be located within the less than 100 miles of the entire E-W route in which the highway is only one lane each way -- with no shoulder.

Besides that, it is a very hilly route. So really not safe to bike or walk on the highway.

The State is in the process of creating a bypass which will include a mandatory sidewalk and bike path, which is referred to by antagonists as "the bike path to nowhere."

But I don't know if that will ever go through, as the amount of private land that will have to be ceded to widen the road, as well as create sidewalk and bike path is enormous.

Some people who currently live on the Highway will literally lose their entire front yards -- or enough of it that no one will want to live that close to the highway. This of course, will affect property values...

And right now the State is saying "it's our way or NO highway."

Thankfully we are not in the path of the proposed bypass. But we are on the Highway, so I really have to drive anywhere if I want to be safe. But I knew this when we bought the house...
so I'm not really complaining. Just explaining...
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#219915 - 01/30/14 05:28 AM Re: Yuck... [Re: Anne Holmes]
orchid Offline


Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3675
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
Quote:
Maybe when we get closer to "old age", we'll reconsider. It's difficult to leave "home" now.


It depends how one looks at it:
Most likely you/all of us will be forced into a position later, to move to be closer to amenities we already not living in such neighbourhoods, and it may be a place you not want to be/be a likeable choice.

It does get tougher when we lose capacity for greatest personal mobility such as your mother Anne.

One of the reasons why I plan to continue to live close to amenities and shops, is that I don't have to rely exclusively on special buses that only run once a day vs. regular more frequent transit buses, or be bound to live in a gated retirement community. (Why not live in a condo building or apartment building with security staff? Keep it simple, if you're so concerned.)

Personally I don't think for me, it would be healthy to be surrounded by just people around my age, increasingly in failing health and dying. It's better for me (and probably others) to be living in my retirement years in a mixed generation neighbourhood....which is a normal neighbourhood. It will force me to think outside my own mental boundaries.

I don't envision participating in social activities, etc. of people just within my age bracket. If it happens, fine. But I'm not planning on that exclusively. The most vibrant seniors I know personally....and these are people who cycle into their 70's, are people who participate often in activities that put them in contact with people from across different generations.

This becomes important if some of us aren't birth mothers/don't have children living locally/don't visit us hardly at all.


smile Thank you, Anne for activating this birthday cake icon. Yes, it's coming up. I celebrated on my blog for 55 --means both hands of 5 fingers high fivin'! cool
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#219917 - 02/01/14 03:09 PM mandatory testing of drivers 80+ [Re: orchid]
orchid Offline


Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3675
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
Ontario will by law, require driver testing starting at age 80. That's good + stronger police enforcement of provinces (Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. Probably more but those are places where I've lived.) and states where texting, use of cell phone while driving is illegal.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-dri...rticle16638607/

My point of being forced to far less desirable living situations, is to make decisions and move into areas while you are healthy, where you are less car-dependent because you live within walking, transit or a short taxi cab ride away from stores, etc.

Reading the comments to the news article is useful.


Edited by orchid (02/01/14 03:11 PM)
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#219918 - 02/01/14 07:50 PM Re: mandatory testing of drivers 80+ [Re: orchid]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 3212
Loc: Illinois
Orchid, I think it is a good idea to have mandatory driver testing for people turning 80. I also think older drivers need to consider taking a refresher driving course, such as the one offered by AARP.

Our auto insurance offers discounts for older drivers with safe driving records, who have also recently taken a refresher driver training class.

You can take the AARP refresher driver training course online, which makes it doubly easy, IMHO. Here's the link.

As for driving at 80, I am sure many can still do this. But as I've already mentioned, both my mother and step-father are deliberately doing less of it. She has macular degeneration, and I'm pretty sure she's now ruled out driving at night.

So you are correct, Orchid. As we age, we need to consider living in places where driving is not a requirement.
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#219919 - 02/01/14 08:19 PM Re: mandatory testing of drivers 80+ [Re: Anne Holmes]
yonuh Offline
Member

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 2447
Loc: Arizona
Part of the problem in the US as I see it is that public transportation hasn't been a priority in most major cities. And in some cities, the downtown areas are less than safe to live in. Also, many cities are 'food deserts' that don't have good choices in food shopping; most of the grocery stores are in the suburbs. There are many things to think about in preparing for our older years, but sometimes there isn't much of a choice.
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#219920 - 02/02/14 03:51 AM Re: mandatory testing of drivers 80+ [Re: yonuh]
orchid Offline


Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3675
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
Well Anne, this year, my 85 yr. old father gave up his driver's license: his cancer and spinal neck degeneration which is causing him to stoop (unrelated to cancer), made him decide. We are relieved.

Which means one of my siblings has to drive them/mother (who can't drive) to buy groceries. She's not that great anymore in terms of walking far but still can without a walker/cane. (She doesn't use one/need one.) She is 80 yrs. with high blood pressure and gout....controlled by medication for past decade.

They do live in 2 blocks of major grocery store. So my mother could walk there if none of us were available at the hour/at work.

I understand, yonuh about the food desert or missing grocery store in a neighbourhood. We do have such areas in our city of 1.2 million people. And citizens do have to speak up and lobby municipality to get a store. It can happen after a few years.. if there is a plot of land/building that can be converted to one.

I'm not oblivious to suburban living: my parents moved and lived in a nice suburban home for 15 yrs. after we all grew up and left home. It was somewhat inconvenient, though nice when I would visit them after getting off the interurban bus...because thereafter, I was dependent on their car rides during my visit. There was transit..which was only a 10 min. walk from their home. I used it as well as my siblings who buzzed into town and for those who didn't have a car at that time.

Then they relocated from a city of 100,000 to Toronto to be closer to us (100 km. east)...while they were still in excellent health. That was 10 yrs. ago.

I don't drive because I was not comfortable driving on expressways and highways. But I know enough people at my age, who should not drive, but they drive because they feel their lifestyle forces them to.... These are friends who got their license in their early 30's.


Edited by orchid (02/02/14 03:52 AM)
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