In Australia, there are very few gated communities and those that do exist are generally there for the elderly or for those that require regular care. Moving into a gated community in Australia signals retirement and most people, including my parents, refuse to entertain such an idea. It’s like saying that you cannot function out in the open world and need to be cared for and waited on by others behind closed gates. On the other hand, some people would love that.
Here in Atlanta, there appears to be gated communities everywhere. In Alpharetta, where I am living, there is no proper town centre and the entire area seems to be made up of gated communities spattered with sections of strip malls. Consequently, I have moved into a retirement home. Or at least it feels like it. Another Aussie, a Kiwi and I have moved into an apartment on the lower level of one of the complexes. Consequently, it is now known as the ‘Down Under Dungeon’.
Our new residence is in, ‘The Preserve’, a gated community consisting of 636 apartments. First impressions are that living in a gated community is a pretty sweet deal. We don’t have to do anything to maintain the outside and all facilities are provided. When we moved in, a fridge, washing machine and dryer are provided and since the walls are re-painted when we leave, we can stick all the blu-tac we want on the walls. We don’t have to take out the rubbish or put the wheelie bins out. Simply leave your garbage bag outside the door and someone comes to collect it. The grounds are kept immaculate by an army of grounds men and there is a gym, 2 pools and a car wash available for us to use.
I don’t know what my parents are so afraid of. Living in a retirement home would be sweet, especially if someone is doing the cooking and cleaning for you as well. Embrace it, that’s what I say.