After years of work and societal contribution, everyone inevitably reaches an age of retirement from responsibility. Just as they have helped others in their life, others help them. The dependency implied by assisted living may be hard for some to admit to, but no one is ever really independent to start with. We live in a society of interdependence in which everyone relies on the work of others to maintain their lifestyles. Stepping toward retirement is merely another step forward that everyone eventually takes.
Everything from showers and body soaps to paved roads and automobiles only exist because many people have organized themselves and worked together to create them. They are things we use and rely on most everyday that would be unfathomable to create as individuals. In this sense, we are always in a state of assisted living. To claim independence of the society that cleans the water and protects citizen rights is almost as vain as it is illogical. If everyone were to stop assisting each other on a daily basis, the population and its culture would devolve to a primitive chaos. It is only through centuries of refined interdependence that humanity has been able to stand on each other’s shoulders and reach such incredible heights.
Aside from the tremendous advancements in science, medicine, and civilization that have resulted from our culture of assisted living, the reality of human dependence is still undeniable. Even those who choose to live away from big cities and governmental infrastructure still relied on others from their moment of birth. Before people can fend for themselves, their parents and guardians provide them food, shelter, and the opportunity to grow. No person has ever been independent since they left the womb, and none ever will be. Human interdependence permeates more than societal structures; it is an essential part of basic human life. The idea of assistance is not something to be looked down on, but something to be embraced as a gift and a natural process.
No one understood the benefits of assisted living better than the nobility of medieval Europe. Kings and queens were pampered to the greatest extent and never hesitated to enjoy it. They were expected to fully commit themselves to governing their people and making tougher decisions than what to cook for dinner. While history may have revealed that many of these lords and ladies failed to live up to their people’s expectations, they never failed to indulge in the spoiled lifestyle that their status provided. It was not shameful or low to be served. It was a respectful privilege, and it still is.
Humans rely on each other. It is a fact that has held true throughout all observable human history. The specializations of fields that has led to invention and advancement has been made possible by the interdependence that has increased along with our society’s well-being. Turning away from the help of others is turning away from everything society has built. Assisted living is everyone’s lifestyle, regardless of what they call it.
This guest post was written by Roselyn Tatel, on behalf of Palm Court, a resident that helps you enjoy your retirement in style. To know how you can keep busy even when you are retired, visit About.com.