Briefly I Really Was the National Poster Child for Aging!

By Richard Zorza —

ZorzaRichard-186x178-BLONDE_PHOTO_121011_214_6694-2188119622-OYes, really, for a short time, if you went to the National Institute on Aging website, you got so see a photo of me in front of a laptop and holding a phone. (Here is a link to the photo alone, which still sits on their server somewhere.)

The backstory is that my wife Joan and I live in a wonderful continuing care retirement community outside Washington called Collington, and NIA came with a photographer to get some stock photos of seniors, with a focus on activity and engagement.  Hence the computer and phone.

Really this post is an opportunity to sing the praises of Collington, a part of the Kendal network of Quaker value retirement communities.  While people at Collington come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from the military to the academic world, from the private sector to what is often vaguely referred to as “the government,”  and from nonprofits to medicine, there is a strongly shared “culture of contribution,” in which people sought, and continue to seek, to contribute to the world.

More generally, I would also like to take this opportunity to urge people not to delay too long making the decision to move to a community such as this.  Collington is a nonprofit Continuing Care Retirement Community, which means that the facilities here go all the way from independent living to the euphemistically named “memory care.”  Provided you are healthy enough when you first come here, you can contract to pay a fixed rate, regardless of the level of care you will need in the future.  So earlier is better to decide.  Moreover, the earlier you move, the easier it is to build a network of friends.  We have been astonished at how easy we found this to do.

I never thought I would be a poster child for anything.