Issue 12 – The Search

“How are you supposed to search anything here when you can’t see the text on the screen?” He had entered in the web address that was on the postcard he received at the Seniors Week Fair and was now looking at the Alberta Seniors Housing Directory. Charlie hated using the computer. The light bothered his eyes, and quite frankly, he wasn’t overly enthused with everything having to be electronic these days. The kids would read books on their iPads now, and every time he would renew his newspaper subscriptions, they would go on and on about the online version.

“Just adjust the size of the font. There should be a big ‘A’ and a little ‘A’ at the top of the screen.” Hazel was far more computer savvy than he was, however, he was bound and determined to prove to Hazel that there were seniors apartments nearby who would take pets. He found the ‘A’s that Hazel had mentioned, clicked on them and was pleasantly surprised that he could now read the screen.

“Well, dang…they’re asking us here if we want combined living, supportive living, independent living…how am I supposed to know what this gobbley gook means? Why don’t they just put in words people like us would understand?” Charlie grumbled to himself. “Well, I doubt the words we would use would make any sense to them. There must be explanations somewhere on the page…check that FAQs section,” Hazel suggested. Hazel attempted to show Charlie what she meant, but Charlie had already found the page and was reading through.

“Ok, so we want independent then…we don’t need nursing staff or anything like that.” Charlie went to enter that selection into his search when Hazel raised a point. “No, we want combined and I’ll tell you why…we might not need that stuff right now, but it would be good to have that kind of help when we need it. I don’t want to have to move AGAIN if something were to happen to one of us. Think of that couple we met at the dinner. If we’re going to do this, we should do it right.”

“Well, what’s this RGI stuff?” Charlie read through the description. “Huh, looks like there are places that charge rent based on your income. We don’t work anymore, so…,” again, Charlie was cut off by his wife. “I already looked into some of that the other day. We have pretty good pensions. We don’t qualify for that Charlie…that’s for people who need it,” Hazel explained. “Lucky us, we get to pay more!” Charlie grumbled. “We should be grateful that we have so many choices Charlie, look at it that way,” Hazel smiled. “Some people are limited to what they are able to afford.”

Charlie entered the search criteria and pressed “search.” It was a pretty easy process, he just had to check off a few of the boxes. He was thrilled there was a box for “pets allowed.” The search yielded 16 results, which got him excited at first. “Wait a second, why did Calgary come up? I’m not moving to Calgary!” Hazel came right over to help calm Charlie down. “Well, did you select the right location in your search?,” she scrolled through the results. “Well here’s one in Edmonton, dear.” Hazel clicked on the picture to reveal the full listing.

“There’s no pictures of the inside…it looks nice from the outside though. But you know how things work these days. They don’t show you pictures of things ‘cause they’re junk.” Charlie was sitting with his arms crossed now. This wasn’t going well. Hazel was ready to give up when she noticed there was a video posted at the bottom of the page. “Well, look at this.” The two of them sat for a moment taking in the quick video of the site…it had a pool, a billiards room…and the food looked fantastic. “Well, that’s all fine and good, but I bet this place costs a fortune!” Charlie grumbled again. “Not really, the range posted looks pretty average for this type of place. Remember that the higher price usually includes not just the rent but the meals and services. We learned that from the tour we took at Lloyd and Marilyn’s place. When you think of it like that, it’s really not unreasonable. And again, places like this have care if you need it. You’re not paying for homecare.”

“Huh!” Charlie moved his chair in a little closer to the screen to get a better look.

What do you think should happen next? Have you been to our Housing Directory yet? What do you think?


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