"Active Senior Living “, a shopworn marketing phrase, is also the title of a new book by Jan Curran, a resident of a California senior apartment complex and a former reporter and columnist for the Contra Costa Times and The Desert Sun in Palm Springs where she hobnobbed with retired movie stars and politicians.
In this ‘fictionalized memoir” Curran describes realistic dilemmas facing seniors who courageously try to live independently and avoid moving into “assisted living,” which may be the new name for nursing homes. In the independent living building, a nurse regularly evaluates present and prospective residents to determine if they are healthy enough to live independently and if they aren’t they need to make other arrangements. The corporation that owns the independent living building also operates a nearby assisted living facility, but assisted living expenses are out of the reach for some seniors trying to live independently.
Rather than being overwhelmed by these momentous decisions, residents band together to offer emotional support to each other -- a shoulder to lean on in tough times. “Life at the Inn is full to the brim with bountiful friends who just happened to be priceless octogenarians,” said Curran who was a 60 something “youngster” when she moved there from the desert.
Rather than an expose or sob stories about senior citizens being exploited, “Active Senior Living” is a testament that people like Curran with low expectations about senior living arrangements can open themselves to new friendships, share memories and experience life with renewed vigor. “Ages blur and friends become family,” she writes.
Curran’s innate reporting skills and her empathy for others come through as she gently probes and intervenes to help others who face overwhelming mental and physical challenges.
The book is somewhat reminiscent of the Betty Macdonald novels of the 1940s -- “The Egg and I” and “The Plague and I,” where humor is found in living on an island chicken farm and recovering from tuberculosis. Rather than “Ma and Pa Kettle,” Curran encounters 90-something would-be Romeos (with or without Viagra) aggressively seeking her companionship. Compassionate rather than mean-spirited is her approach to the 300-pound matron in the shocking pink K-Mart sweat suit and the 90-year-old widow with extensive cosmetic surgery who looks 55.
(Jan Curran, a vivacious socialite and newspaper reporter, reluctantly movies into an active senior living comples (the Inn) to recuperate from cancer. She tackles the surprises and challenges of her new life with warmth wit and courage, meeting a colorful cast of unforgettable charcters in an often hilarious and yet profoundly moving story of friendship and hope.
Curran is an award wining journalism and former columnist for the Contra Cost Times and The Desert Sun. She’s also been a fashion model, a realtor, a publicist and co-author of the book The Statue of Liberty is Cracking Up. She is retired and living in Southern California.
Jan says: I'm an award winning journalist, never took a class in writing! Been writing since I was a kid. Send me any questions you want answered.
The book is doing so well on Amazon for the Kindle it is just amazing. I have 16 5 star reviews up there now! And getting all sorts of emails from fans asking for a sequel. There are now 94 fans of the book on a Facebook fan page , so that is amazing, too.