Lots of drama lately in the big house in the woods. Three women have moved out during the past four months, and in a few weeks, I will be the fourth. Someone new was supposed to move in today but didn’t. When I complained about a few things recently I became a “troublemaker” and am getting the silent treatment. I understand now why older people don’t want to live in nursing homes. While this is not a nursing home, I have felt like I’m back in high school. Maybe shared living is a viable option for some, but here, it didn’t even work for the extroverts.
The last woman who moved out is now living in a motel room for $900 a month. She is 65 and has lived in 33 places during the past year. Germaine Greer recently said in an interview, “People are being hurtful to me all the time. Try being an old woman.” During the past 10 years, the suicide rate for women rose more than 31 percent. The largest increase was observed among women aged 60-64 years — nearly a 60 percent rise from 4.4 per 100,000 to 7.0 suicides per 100,000 people.
The condo I bought needs work but it’s a better option than being out on the highway and paying for motels. This felt kind of exciting a year ago after I “left home” but the prospect of continuing this any longer has lost its luster. I am not 25 anymore. Old women need a place of their own. I was smart enough to get one before I went through all my money. It has an extra bedroom and 1.5 baths, so if worse comes to worse I can rent out a room. This is what my great-grandmother eventually had to do to survive. My last place only had one bathroom and a den.
If I was to give advice to any woman, at any age, I would say “think about money.” Eventually, you get old and need a lot of it. I lived my whole life thinking money didn’t matter. Well, it does. Better to realize this when you are young enough to do something about it.