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Is Growing Old Alone Unhealthy?

RCM COO David Keaton speaks from experience

More people in the United States are living alone today, particularly the aging baby boomers. Retirement Center Management (RCM) COO David Keaton can attest through his own experience with his parents that being alone may not be a healthy choice. From 17 percent of loners in the 70s to nearly 30 percent today, the elderly live alone. According to The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), one in five people are isolated. Living alone more than ever is not by choice. Baby boomers are at their peak. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, residents age 65 and over grew from 35.0 million in 2000, to 49.2 million in 2016, accounting for 12.4 percent and 15.2 percent of the total population, respectively. Almost 25 percent of this group is childless and live in big cities such as New York and Houston. Between 40 to 50 percent of seniors own their own home and live alone. Sadly, AARP estimates that the one in five people older than 50 who are isolated suffer from dementia, depression, and chronic diseases. After considerable deliberation David Keaton’s dad was recently relocated to the Villages of Meyerland. David had visited California over the last few years where his dad lived and found him suffering more and more from weight loss and general deteriorating health. He decided to bring him to Houston’s Villages of Meyerland property, one of the many properties he oversees for RCM. He has found the results have been life changing. Keaton believes the interaction and more active lifestyle at the Villages of Meyerland has brought his dad “back to life.” Keaton can literally can speak from experience as to how living alone was taking a negative toll on his father. Since coming to Meyerland, his dad gained weight and his interaction with others has helped him both physically and mentally, taking a huge worry off David and his mom. Although David’s mother was still very active, after two years she was completely worn out and needed a break. ”Mom and Dad talk every day, and she visits regularly,” says Keaton. A plus for his dad is David gets to visit more regularly and check on his dad’s business and sees for himself just how well his father is being treated.

David Keaton is the Chief Operating Officer of Retirement Center Management (RCM), which provides oversight of the Villages of Meyerland daily operations, including strategic, financial, operational, and marketing for the company’s properties: Villages of Tanglewood, Villages of Meyerland, River Oaks, The Heights, and their newest, the Villages of Southampton Place. Prior to joining Retirement Center Management, Mr. Keaton served as Corporate Vice President with Greystone in Irving, Texas. Over a career of nearly 30 years in the industry, Mr. Keaton served in numerous operational capacities, including management consulting and operating communities as the Executive Director. He earned his Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration from Saint Mary’s College of California.

 

Intown | March – April 2018