In 2006 Central Florida was shocked and titillated to read this headline in the Orlando News: “STDs Running Rampant in Retirement Community“. The community in question being The Villages, the sprawling active adult enclave spanning several towns and home to over 60,000 people. Dr. Colleen McQuade, a gynecologist, was quoted that she “treats more cases of herpes and the human papilloma virus in the retirement community than she did in the city of Miami.” The patients, as old as 80, are “very shocked (to hear the diagnosis)”. Viagra, no risk of pregnancy, and lack of sex education were viewed as the culprits.
That bit of press was a source of merriment to talk show hosts around the country. On the other hand, it is probably a minor activity in a community obsessed with golf and non-stop activities of all types. Indeed, if you lurk on “Talk of the Villages“, a popular Forum for residents of The Villages, you will find that life there is more typical than sensational.
Topretirements has just reviewed 2 books that discuss The Villages. In “Leisureville”, Andrew Blechman follows his 55+ neighbors to the active adult community. It is a fascinating read but tends to show life there through a (much younger) prism than his former neighbor’s. Here’s how our Topretirements Guide OldNaussau described the book: “Repeatedly, the retirees with whom he speaks, or who speak to him, quite clearly contradict him. He tries to present the Villages, and several other retirement communities, as sterile, lock-step, isolated, vacuous – like the towns in the movie “Pleasantville” or the novel “Fahrenheit 451″ – but the Villagers praise the activities, security, economy, and socializing around them.”
Do you Know The Villages? If so, report on what you think, either in the Comments section below, or in the TR Forum – Is Leisureville on or off the Mark