New York Times publishes Blackstone opinion column on addressing loneliness in old age

Having children and investing time, love and money is no guarantee to avoiding loneliness in old age, wrote Amy Blackstone in her opinion piece titled “Grow Old Like ‘The Golden Girls’’ in The New York Times. “We are finally beginning to understand that just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to shepherd people through their golden years,” wrote Blackstone, whose first book “Childfree by Choice: The Movement Redefining Family and Creating a New Age of Independence” is being published June 11. Blackstone pointed out that while census data indicate about 85 percent of American women older than 50 have children, a study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco found that 43 percent of older people feel lonely. “The Golden Girls” living arrangement, in which housemates share activities and expenses, reduces both loneliness and the cost of living, wrote Blackstone. Communal living “will continue to grow as the number of older people without children increases and as more aging adults discover the benefits of shared housing,” she wrote. “The loneliness of older people is a real problem, but it is solvable. The first step is to be much more creative about how we age.”