Hi Aaron, It has come up and I would definitely be open to come kind of communal living with her—though I think sharing an apartment might be a bit much! That said, more than 20 years later, she has a child and a husband and I can see her choosing to live with family. By the time I need it, I hope there's less stigma around retirement communities, and I believe there will be. The next question will be money.... getting old well isn't cheap!
Thanks, Aaron. The topic came up when we were in high school—and it wasn't about death so much as about what we thought might be nice when we were old. Looking back, I think we liked the idea of living with friends not parents and, at the time, didn't see it as a serious conversation about how we'd like to live the last part of our lives. This was well before my grandmother got sick, but looking at they way she isolated herself, I don't plan that life for myself.
I recently spent a week living in retirement communities (for work) and I have to say, I am way more afraid of living on my own when I am unable to take care of myself then I am of moving into a community. The people there, even if they were sick, were much more independent than my grandmother who rarely left home.