Senior housing takes on new meaning

By Samantha Plumley – 1851 Staff

All of our roommates have quirks and may tend to do things that get on our nerves. Some may leave hair in the shower drain. Others may play their music too loud when you are trying to study. Starting next fall though, some New York University students may face roommates who leave their dentures lying around or fall asleep right after their 4:00 p.m. dinner with the introduction of the university’s new low-cost housing option.

Illustration by Amanda Bennett

NYU is taking on an intergenerational housing pilot program where renting out a room in a retirement facility, for a reduced price, will soon be an option for students. Those in the program will be matched with seniors and will be able to build a relationship with them.

Lasell prides itself on its intergenerational connectivity, so should Lasell consider this new trend? It could be a welcomed living situation for those not interested in typical dorm living or for those who simply can’t afford the standard room and board costs. While the senior citizens may not appreciate music bumping until the early hours of the morning, there are benefits that college kids could contribute to the community.

The new youthful energy brought into the building could revitalize those who don’t interact with younger generations much. College students are a source of entertainment and can keep their new roommates updated on all of the new trends. Grandchildren of these senior residents will be impressed with their grandparent’s knowledge of modern day culture and in turn could bring them closer together.

The seniors have a lifetime of wisdom and knowledge that college kids could benefit from. Outgoing college students who socialize with their neighbors could gain a new perspective on life and, if the students play their cards right, they may get a free meal out of the arrangement.

My understanding of intergenerational living is entirely derived from “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” The movie features a group of seniors living in the same building as a young person who is a bundle of energy. Although the film features some conflict between the seniors and the youngster, it is resolved and they gain mutual respect for each other and eventually, this respect developed into friendship.

Perhaps this special friendship could be achieved through intergenerational housing at Lasell.

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