There is a difference between being alone and feeling lonely. Every woman over 60 understands this. Being alone is something we have all experienced in our lives at one time or another, sometimes by choice, sometimes by circumstances beyond our control.
What do medieval beguines, communal living apartments, the Golden Girls and Suzanne Braun Levine all have in common? They’re all examples of how women can support one another in dealing with the challenges of getting older. There are many things that today’s women can learn from the idea of shared living communities.
According to the New York Times, 200 million adults worldwide are living alone. This represents an increase of 33 percent from 1996 to 2006. In addition, many more women over 60 are living alone than previous generations, whether it’s by personal choice or due to divorce or the death of a spouse.
Women over 60 are entering a new chapter of life. We have lived and loved and recovered from heartbreak and loss, we have strived in the career arena and tended the home fires and (often) nurtured children and cared for aging parents of our own. And as we get older, because of all that we have experienced and surmounted during our lives, many women over 60 find themselves feeling more optimistic about life than ever before.