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June 12, 1981 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-06-12

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Friday, June 12, 1981 11

Sunbelt May Not Be
Place for Jewish Aged

Seven Arts Features

Schwarz, retired associ-
ate executive vice
president of the Jewish
Community Federation
of Metropolitan New Jer-
sey, is currently a private
consultant in community
organization and social
The United States Census
Bureau reported recently
that in the 10 years from
-1970 to 1980 most states of
the Union showed gains of
at least 10 percent in their
aged population but some
really zoomed. Nevada's el-
derly population increased
by 98 percent! Arizona went
up 80 percent, while Florida
rose 63 percent, Hawaii 59
percent and New Mexico 55
Obviously, these large in-
creases in the Sunbelt
states are due to migrations
of elderly from frostier
climes and not an accelera
tion of the aging process of
their indigenous popula-
This information and the
fact that whenever two or
more retirees meet the
question of relocation to the
Sunbelt inevitably arises,
prompts me to set down
some thoughts on the mat-
My advice' is that you
think twice before you up-
root yourself and head for
the Sunbelt. Ask yourself a
lot of questions. Talk with
those who have done it, re-
gretted it and returned. The
following are the most fre-
quently stated reasons:

• They missed their
family, friends, children
(though not always in
that order). Old age has
been described as a proc-
ess of losing things,
among them one's
spouse, friends and asso-
ciates. Why speed up the
process by moving away
from them, breaking
those ties when you need
them most. After all, if
you live long enough you
will find yourself alone in
a world full of young
strangers. Time enough
to be lonely then.
• It is exceedingly dif-
ficult to find employment,
full or part-time, in those
Sunbelt retirement com-
munities and not everyone
can find satisfaction in the
endless round of bingo
nights, birthday parties,
lances, commercialized
Jn tert ain me nt and artsy-
craftsy projects. Even golf
and tennis pall after a
- Leisure is fine in modera-
tion but most of us would
prefer to wear out rather
than rust out.
• Many people, even those
who never though of them-
selves as nature lovers, dis-
cover that they miss the
change of seasons, particu-
larly spring when the bud-
ding and greening of trees
and shrubs speaks of re-

encouragement to all forms
of life.
Ah yes, but what about
the winter and with its
snow, ice and frigid blasts?
If it gets too rough for you,
and you can afford it, by all
means spend a couple of
weeks in Florida, or some
like place, and hope that
you won't hit a cold spell.
• Life in those retire-
ment villages, especially
in the Sunbelt is like
being in a geriatric
prison. (You are sur-
rounded by old people
who always seem to look
and-act bolder than you).
Children, adolescents
and the middle aged are
seen only when they
come to visit grandma
and grandpa. Many re-
tirement villages even
limit the length of their
Some places are even
fenced off for security rea-
sons and have guards at the
gates who check every in-
coming automobile for iden-
tification (except of course
the seemingly ever present
ambulances on their way to
pick up the latest heart at-
tack victim.)
• It also turns out that the
cost of living is not that
much less in the Sunbelt.
Energy costs, which are
mounting every day and
seem to have no relation-
ship to the law of supply and
demand, are less because
one uses less fuel and power
(except for air-conditioning
in the summer). But food,
housing and other essen-
tials are not so cheap as to
make a significant dif-
ference. And'then there are
the rip-off artists who seek
to victimize the elderly by
all kinds of frauds and mis-
representations. Because
there are so many elderly
the Sunbelt is their happy
hunting ground.
• Living in the Sunbelt
doesn't always markedly
alleviate your arthritic
pains. It seems to help when
you are there on a visit but
that may be due to the fact
that you are on vacation and
away from the daily stress
and strain of home. Be sure
to discuss this aspect with
your orthopedist before you
uproot yourself.
• Sooner or later, just
about all of us need the
help of one or more of the
several agencies of the
Jewish community. Why
not? These agencies deal
with the guts of human
existence — being born,
becoming a person,
growing up, marriage
(and divorce), child rear-
ing, care of the elderly,
etc., etc. They came into
existence to help us but
they can't serve every-
body and they don't exist
So, before you leave your
home community with its
complex of local Jewish so-
cial, health, welfare and
educational services con-
sider that you may be giving
up your entitlement to those
kind of services in the proc-


Cordially Invites You to Attend The


For the purpose of establishing the

on the occasion of

Wednesday evening, June 24,1981
at Shaarey Zedek Synagogue
27375 Bell Rood, Southfield

Cocktails, 6:00 p.m./Dinner, 7:00 p.m.

Contribution (including dinner):
per couple (Minimum) $150.00

Guest Speaker
Paul Zuckerman

Philanthropist of international
stature: World Chairman, United
Jewish Appeal: Member of the
board of the Jewish Agency.
Recipient of many awards
including the Fred M. Bute'
Memorial Award for distin-
guished communal service, and
two honorary Doctorates.

Dinner Chairman
Alan E. Schwartz

Leonard N. Simons

Honorary Chairmen

Mr's. Morris Adler
Mr. & Mrs. Louis Berry
Mr. & Mrs. Morris J. f3rondwine
Mr. & Mrs. Irwin I. Cohn
Dr. & Mrs. I. Jerome Hauser
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph H. Jackier
Mr. & Mrs. Charles Milan

Dr. & Mrs. Harold T. Shapiro
Mr. & Mrs. Max M. Shaye
Mr. & Mrs. Philip Slomovii
Mr. & Mrs. Max Stollman
Mr. Phillip Stollman
Mr. &Mrs. David P. Zack
Mr. & Mrs. Paul Zuckerman

President, Jewish Notional Fund Chairman Special
of Greater Detroit
Projects Committee
Ruben H. Isaacs
David B. Holtzman

Executive Director
Percy Kaplan

For Information and

Reservations call:

27308 Southfield Rood
Southfield, Mich. 48076
Phone 557-6644

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