Skip to Content

Exploring the Next Chapter: Nick Jacobs’ Journey

Recently, my spouse and I made the decision to explore a luxurious senior living community tailored for individuals aged 55 and above.

Having observed several acquaintances opt for this lifestyle choice, and considering our proximity to octogenarian status, it appeared to be a prudent move.

However, our past encounter with a profit-driven senior living facility in relation to one of our parents has left us grappling with lingering post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms whenever the memory resurfaces.

Drawing from my background in marketing, various thoughts crossed my mind. Foremost among them was the concept of value proposition. We acknowledged the necessity of selling our current residence, downsizing significantly, and integrating into a diverse community of peers.

The aspect that particularly dismayed us was the transition from our lively cul-de-sac, teeming with residents of all age groups, to an environment predominantly occupied by individuals in our age bracket and older.

The prospect of predominantly interacting with elderly individuals fails to ignite enthusiasm in either of us.

Initially, we anticipated a transparent financial breakdown based on cost comparisons, encompassing expenses such as home maintenance, insurance, landscaping, snow removal, utilities, upkeep, and future security measures. Additionally, we pondered the potential financial legacy for our grandchildren.

At this juncture, the notion of relinquishing our independence or autonomy did not perturb us significantly, given our active lifestyle, possession of two vehicles, proximity to family members, and the intention to acquire a condominium.

In our reveries, we envisioned reliving moments with our college companions from yesteryears.

Regrettably, akin to the numerous business trips I undertook to Fort Myers/Naples, Florida, the setting we encountered upon arrival predominantly featured canes, walkers, and wheelchairs. While comprehending one’s inevitable aging process is one facet, immersing oneself in an environment replete with tangible reminders of potential future challenges is another ordeal altogether.

It was at this juncture that my occasionally overactive imagination took flight. Drawing from my professional visits to Celebration and Lake Nona, Florida, I allowed my mind to wander freely, envisioning an innovative senior living experience.

I envisaged a revolutionary care model unparalleled in its approach. A setting where the vibrant themes of our boomer generation would serve as the standard.

In my mind’s eye, I pictured a communal space adorned with plasma screens showcasing captivating Rolling Stones or U2 concerts, seamlessly linked to a corridor adjacent to a casino and spa.

The theaters would host live performances multiple times a week, while the indoor/outdoor infinity pool would offer breathtaking views of the mountains.

Numerous upscale retail outlets, as well as lounges conducive to intellectual exchanges regarding the latest cinematic and literary releases over preferred beverages, would dot the landscape.

However, there would be one steadfast rule: political discussions would be strictly prohibited.

The premises would feature ample fitness zones, extensive hiking trails, lighting synchronized with circadian rhythms, diverse culinary experiences, and imaginarium hubs enabling residents to embark on virtual reality journeys to alternate realms.

Moreover, there would be educational centers where younger individuals could glean valuable life lessons through interactions with our community members.

Upon reflection, I realized that the essence of my vision bore semblance to the offerings of cruise ship companies. The only impediment being the susceptibility to seasickness, an uncontrollable aspect of nature.

Hence, my aspiration entails the transformation of a retired cruise ship like the Carnival Sensation, accommodating over 2,000 passengers, to the serene locale of the Laurel Highlands.

This visionary project, christened The Fantasy Living Center, promises a delightful and engaging lifestyle.

Interested parties are encouraged to explore this concept further.

Nick Jacobs, a resident of Windber, boasts a background as a healthcare consultant and the esteemed author of “Taking the Hell Out of Healthcare.”