Choosing an Environment By: Ray Farmere Tourism 392 Instructor: David Robinson
The purpose of this this presentation is to discuss what seniors might look for in an environment. And why they may choose one specific environment over another. I will talk about how certain types of seniors may fit in with certain types of environments but not others.
Life is like a journey who knows where it will take us. In this presentation I will talk about two types of seniors the Ulyssean Senior who is active and always looking for new adventure and then the one who may need constant care. In this presentation we will look at some of the environments that may best suite both lifestyles and why.
Who is the Ulyssean Senior?
The Ulyssean senior is someone who is constantly learning new things and living life to its fullest to this person life is a journey. An example the types of learning might be the website; http://seniornet.org here seniors can signup for Information Technology courses. Other examples of education might be elder college. Plus there are lots of community groups available specifically for seniors such as the Comox Valley Evergreen club for example. This is a place where seniors can come and enjoy themselves in the day and take part in different types of activities.
Example of Ulyssean Seniors I have known a Ulyssean couple for ten years they are kind of special to me. As I talk about them we will be able to see what type of environment was specific to their needs. Their names are Dr. Jim Lunam and his wife Betty Lunam, Jim was born in 1914 and he died in Feb. 2009 as a doctor he was an officer in World War II between 1941-1945, he moved to the Comox Valley in the year 1947. He retired from being a doctor in 1974 and he was part of the Comox Valley Naturalists for years, which is where I first meant him at age 87 they were a special government project that dealt with removing loosestrife a vicious weed from the Comox Valley Rivers and swamps. For almost ever year I knew him he would go hunting and canoeing with his son all the way up until he was 95. At 96 he was still active in the yard and he would go for walks on seawall by Hollywood Street in Victoria. At 93 he would tell me he would would run into a cuite girl every now and then on his walks. Sadly he had a fall last year and bones get brittle that can kind of end for someone he only lasted one month after the fall. Jims wife Betty Lunam around 80 almost started the loosestrife removal project originally but Comox Valley Naturalists have kept it going. Since Jim has died Betty has had more time on her hands so she has been working on finishing of Master of Arts Degree at UVIC in Victoria. Plus she is still maintaining the gardens in her yard and travelling a lot.
Ideal Environment for the Ulyssean So after talking about my example of the Ulyssean Seniors that I have known I can say about them that they would not enjoy living in an intensive care unit or a hospital bed, but rather they want to be out there enjoying things and feeling alive. An example of a living Environment that may be ideal for one type of Ulyssean senior maybe a house by the beach with lots of yard space for gardening. Additionally I can see a camper or a motor home parked in their yard as they love to travel when they can. As brought out in our reading the environment in which a person lives can have a great effect on their on the quality of their living it can even go as far as affecting the amount of time a person may live.
Choosing a living space for retirement
For seniors who are planning on retiring picking a place to retire and living out the rest of your life is an important thing. Therefore you want to make sure you find the right place because as we talked about the place or environment can affect your quality of life. There are now online tools that can be used by seniors in assisting them in finding a place to live. An example of one of these tools might be; www.usnews.com/bestretirement , How it works is first of all you select the state you want to move to since this demo tool is a US tool, you can select the crime level you want in your area, the year round temperatures you would like to live under.
Choosing a living space for retirement (continued) Next you can select the types of things you want to live close to and if you need nursing care you can even select that. When you have all of your choices in place you hit submit and the tool brings up what it feels are the best places or living environments for you based upon your enquiry. Really people know what they are looking for in an environment and they also know how much money they have to spend on it. But these tools can help them find that environment that suites their needs. On the next slide we will talk about seniors who need special care and some options for them.
Seniors who need Special Care Next as we know some seniors need special care as we know they cannot always live by themselves but just because they may even be bed ridden does not mean they have stopped living. For example Mother Teresa for almost a year after she broke her collar bone and was confined to bed Mother Teresa continued to make difference in peoples lives as she did not step down as head of the Missionaries Charity until March of 1997 and she had her accident in April of 1996 so this was almost a full year. Wow what inspiration though she did make one change in her life and that was her living environment she switched to a state of the art hospital where she knew she would get the right level of care and be able to continue her work.
The right Environment Makes a Difference
For people living in a hospital bed or who are incapacitated they can get depressed very quickly for example what might depressing for them would be a room with no pictures on the walls. I know when my grandpa gets so sick to the point where he has to be in bed I will suggest that pictures be brought to his room and be put on the walls to give him a sense of familiarity. If a place any place feels like home by either changing the colors on the wall or putting pictures up some of these things can help to avoid depression. As long there is depression and nothing to do especially seniors they start to feel like they no longer have a purpose. When we f feel as if we no longer have a purpose then we give up on life.
Conclusion In this presentation we talked about a Ulyssean senior and the type of living environment that would appeal to them. I also gave examples of Ulyssean seniors I talked about how they could choose their own living situations based on their wants and the finances available to them using new technology. I also talked about seniors who need constant care that even if they need constant care this does not mean they have to stop living we contrasted how Mother Teresa held her post for almost a year while she was mostly in bed. I also talked about how your living environment as a senior could either contribute to longer life or decrease life expectancy.
1. CVNS Wetland Restoration Project - INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES IN THE COMOX VALLEY, E. Sellentin, (2004). Referenced July 16 , 2010 from www.comoxvalleynaturalist.bc.ca/assets/downloads/wetland_2004.pdf
2. SeniorNet grants open doors. (Leisure and Aging Society), (2002). Referenced July 16 , 2010 from
3. Obituaries Jim Lunam, (2009). Referenced July 16 , 2010 from