Patricia Gifford

Patricia Gifford


Hello Fellow Boomers!

As you’ve no doubt noticed, this website showcases a place that was conceived and built by members of our parents’ generation, and many of the wonderful people pictured here are their peers. If you look closely, though, you’ll see that some people are younger. We are here, and as more people aged 65 to 75 move in, Laurelmead’s culture, amenities and décor will be changing, while its fine bones - its architecture, setting and prime location – shine on.

I’m a sixty-eight year old Laurelmead resident. I came here five years ago, seeking support in caring for my husband Mark, who has Parkinson’s Disease, but I’ve found something more - the makings of the kind of community that can carry me successfully all the way through my later years. It’s important to me to contribute to its evolution, and this is just what I, and others of like mind, intend to do.

We invite you to join us. To set the stage, allow me to borrow a few words from the most recent recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature: for the times they are a’changin’. These days, we boomers think about our age daily, and about the likelihood that, barring catastrophe, we have the opportunity and the challenge of another twenty to thirty years. Some fifty years ago, when we first reveled in the notion of changing times, our communal lives in dorms and shared homes gave us newfound independence through interdependence. The community of our peers that we pretty much took for granted buffeted us, as we studied and explored with a heady sense of freedom and power, until each of us went our own way.

It’s time to come back together, as singles or in couples, in a more mindful way and talk about where we’re headed. What really are the values we hold most dear? Is it time to ditch the house, half the furniture and all the chores, and spend that time on relationships and creative endeavors that enrich and enliven our lives? Time itself has become one of our most precious possessions, and, as the paths we’ve been following for decades come to a natural end, we ask: What now?

We know what we don’t want. We commiserate about the fate of loved-ones who’ve been displaced in impersonal institutions or isolated in their homes, and we can’t imagine moving in with our children. The financial and emotional burdens of long-term care are obvious to us all, as is the fact that most of us will need some help at some point. We dread an ending that negates the very essence of our lives, but how do we get what we want and how do we afford it?

If you’d like to be in Providence; if the spirit of interdependence calls to you, and the idea of sharing space and care with good friends makes sense to you; if you believe that contributing to your neighbors’ wellbeing will make it easier for you to ask for help, check us out. Over the next decade, as the number of boomers at Laurelmead grows, we’ll be busy building the kind of community we desire, preserving the legacy of the last generation and lighting the way for the next. Come talk with us about becoming part of the Laurelmead community of our generation.

Meanwhile, by the way, Mark has started the first Laurelmead rock band.

Patricia Gifford